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dylatess, ATTORNEY
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3441
Experience:  37 plus years of SSD practice
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My spouse passed away on 23 Oct 16. He was a 20 yr veteran

Customer Question

My spouse passed away on 23 Oct 16. He was a 20 yr veteran who died from cancer. He was able to collect his social security early due to his illness. How can I now continue to receive his SS benefit? I am 60 yrs old and still working as an RN. We are a 2 income household and his benefit did not come this month. I also need to know who to call to discuss this with and what is the usual turn around time for this process? Thank you for your assistance.
JA: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Is there anything else important you think the retirement accountant should know?
Customer: I'm also in the process of trying to get benefits from the military (DFAS). My spouse's retirement has also been cut off and I'm supposed to get 55% of his retirement, but it will take 30-60 days for this to process. If you can offer any suggestions for this process I'm all ears.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  emc011075 replied 11 months ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

You need to contact social security administration to apply for widow/survivor benefits. You can apply not, at 60 but if you do, your widows benefits will be reduced by about 25%. Also, if you continue working, your benefits will also reduced by your earnings; $1 for every $2 you make over $15,720.

The processing takes about 3 month, so if you want to apply you will have to do it as soon as possible.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm not sure what you said. Can I apply at 60 or not? And if I apply for his benefits, not mine, why would it be reduced by 25%? Are not the surviving spouses able to collect/receive their deceased spouse's benefits? And why, if I continue to work, would that affect what I receive for him? His passing has thrust me into financial hardship and applying for benefits is so complex. This is too much stress on people at a time of death. This shouldn't be that difficult to apply for and receive. Also, is there a number at SSA you can give me to contact for survivor benefits. Thank youl
Expert:  emc011075 replied 11 months ago.

Yes, you can apply at 60, but to get full amount, you would have to wait until your full retirement age to apply. At 60 you can apply for early or reduced benefits.

More about widows benefits:

Until you reach your full retirement age, your social security benefits will be reduced if you keep working. At 66 you can have unlimited earnings and keep your full benefits.

And here's how your earnings affect your social security benefits: