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Ask Dr. Fiona Chen Your Own Question
Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 482
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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My wife and and I were married for seven years between 1967

Customer Question

My wife and and I were married for seven years between 1967 and 1974. We are are thinking about getting married again this year, 2016, how long must we be married before she can collect my benefits after my death?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 10 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Nine months of marriage at the time of death to qualify for survival spouse benefit. Also the spouse needs to be remarried before the age of 60.

"Qualifying widow(er)s must have been married to the deceased spouse for at least 9 months and have not remarried before the age of 60 (50 if disabled) (SSA 2007b)."

https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v67n4/67n4p1.html

When you are still alive, she can collect on your retirement for spousal benefit after one year of marriage.

Please feel free to follow up.

Regards,

Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 10 months ago.

p.s. Correction: The spouse needs to be unmarried, not remarried, before age 60.