Can I collect social security retirement benefits on my divorced dead husband?

by Elizabeth
(Tucson, AZ)

I will turn 62 in July 2011. I believe I will take early retirement because I don't have a regular job - I generally earn less than the $14,000 limit. I want to know if I can receive benefits from my divorced, deceased ex-husband (to whom I was married for more than 10 years and he did not remarry) and also collect from my own social security benefits? Or would it be from which ever one is the highest amount?

Thank you, Elizabeth

Wendy: Yes, you can draw his Social Security benefit, IF:

1) You are at least 60 and you are.

2) Married at least 10 years and you are.

3) Your own Social Security benefit isn't higher... SS will automatically look at both benefits, just tell them your ex-spouse is
deceased.

4) You are not married, unless you remarried after age 60.

You might want to visit Social Security soon -- you don't have to wait until you are age 62 (that's for your own benefit). You could start now and double dip for a few months (wages and SS payments) or even continue to work for a bit while drawing the benefit.

Go to your local SS office -- and ask questions! Better yet -- call 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays and make an appointment. Instead of waiting for hours at SS, make an appointment and they will have your records ready and waiting!

Finally, doesn't matter if your ex remarried or not. IF you draw from his benefit, that doesn't change what others might draw from it (if any).

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