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Was married to ex spouse for 16 years and that was 23 years ago. I am now almost 66 years old and have applied for ex spouse half payment for social security

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Last Update : 05-22-2012 

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Social Security Question:

I was widowed in 1983 at age 36 (my husband was 39). I am now 64, never remarried, employed full time again roughly since the

Social Security Answer:

I was widowed in 1983 at age 36 (my husband was 39). I am now 64, never remarried, employed full time again roughly since then. Our daughter and I received survivor's benefits, however mine were terminated in 1987 when I went back to work full-time and made too much to continue receiving them. thru a snafu on SS's side (I notified them by phone when I started back FT and didn't document it) they continued to direct deposit my benefits with my daughter's for another year (into an account I did not use since I moved to another state, I let it accumulate until she started school). When I received the notification that I owed $2 for every $1 they paid me, I couldn't pay the full amount back in one lump sum. Therefore after going thru the paperwork with a representative I had $80 deducted monthly from my daughter's benefits. Her benefits ended when she turned 18 and I still owed $2,500. I currently still owe $2,500. I have never filed for widow's benefits because I understood from the website that my salary was more than I could make to file for widow's benefits. I know whenever I do file for Social Security benefits I will have the $2,500 deducted. I also can't afford to quit FT work, (still have a mortgage) therefore I can't file for Social Security benefits until I am 66 and can make whatever salary I make and still get benefits. QUESTION: Can I file for widow's benefits and have the $2,500 deducted now, before I file for Social Security benefits at 66? and when I file for Social Security benefits, should I file for my husbands (formerly a hospital administrator) or mine (RN). Of course I make more money now than he did when he died, but I believe that would be amortized, correct?


Support Replied ~ 05-22-2012 21:49:41

Dear Camille: It sounds like your income will prevent you from receiving benefits until age 66. However, if you can receive benefits, you can go on widows' benefits until you are age 70 and then switch to your own benefits. You should call the toll free number and get what your own benefit is at age 66 and age 70 and your widows' benefit at age 66. Widows' benefits reach their peak at age 66 and your own benefit peaks at age 70. To figure out if you would be due any widows now, take your income and subtract $14600 and divide that amount in half and divide by whatever Social Security says your widow amount is. If it is more than 12, then you wouldn't be due any checks in a year. But, the amount that you can earn jumps to $33000 in the year that you are age 66, so make sure that you contact Social Security in January of your 66th year. You could be due checks from January of that year depending on when your birthday falls in that year. To answer your question, you will probably pay back Social Security when you start receiving checks since the overpayment stays on the record waiting for someone to apply for benefits. You could probably have reduced withholding like you had with your daughters checks. Depending on what the benefits are on each record, you may start with one and end with the other or just stay on widows permanently.....Write back with the amounts and I can help you make a decision.......Carol

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DISCLAIMER - You should consult with your local Social Security Office before acting upon any information received as a response to your question on "Social Security Advisor".

"Social Security Advisor" is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment or other professional advice or services.

Information obtained from RetirementCommunity.com, including e-mail responses from "Social Security Advisor" should be considered as general educational information. You must never rely upon the advice given here. Your individual situation may not fit the generalizations discussed. Only your local Social Security office can evaluate your individual situation and give you advice.


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Thank you so much. The amount of infomation you provided on our call went a long way in helping to resolve the issues I had with the social security rep I was working with.
Tom F. 02-24-2017


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