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TaxRobin, Tax Preparer
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 15747
Experience:  15+ years in tax preparation and instruction
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I will be 66 years old in October. I have been collecting

Customer Question

I will be 66 years old in October. I have been collecting widows disability benefits since my husband passed away in Sept , 2010. Now that I will be 66, am I eligible for my husbands full social security benefits(which are greater than I am now receiving)?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 2 years ago.


When you start receiving survivor benefits, the age you start sets the limit amount. If the benefits start at an earlier age, they are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before full retirement age.

You can switch to retirement benefits based on your own work if they’re higher than those you receive for your deceased spouse’s work. These benefits may be higher .

As a general rule, survivors benefits based on age will be about the same total Social Security benefits over a lifetime, whether they start early or at full survivors retirement age. You cannot reapply after the survivor benefits start unfortunately.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am still confused..You are calling what I have been receiving Survivor benefits; however I thought they were disability benefits. Are they the same? And I never applied for anything after my husband died. I just started receiving disability checks every month.
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 2 years ago.

You are receiving the payment that applied to you as the survivor of your spouse (who was receiving disability prior to passing), correct?

If so the same rules apply as explained.

You receive those benefits but you can only apply under your own work history (if you have credits on your own history).

If those are higher then you would want to do that but if you are only due the benefits based on your spouse and their disability payments, you would not get an increase based on turning 66 now.