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Date Add : 08-15-2009 

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Social Security Question:

Marriage and Social Security Suvivors Benefits

Social Security Answer:

My second husband and I lived together for 20 years. We got married 1 year and a few months before he died of ALS. Since we lived together we were able to write in the date we wanted to use. The actual date we filed as our wedding date does not reflect all the years we were together. I understand we had to be married 10 years so I would be able to file on his SS. Can I chance the date or will this affect me.

Thanks, Terry


Support Replied ~ 06-28-2009 17:21:20

Dear Terry:
You will be fine because your marriage ended in death and you only had to be married for 9 months to be eligible for widows benefits at age 60. Carol
Your Comment ~ 06-29-2009 09:33:49

Thank you Carol for your wonderful service. I think it is a great way to get advice and I have made a donation for your service.

1. This is for my friend, can she keep working full time and start collection widows benefits at a reduced rate at age 60? I know it is about how much money she can make while she is working.

2. Also, I have remarried before ate 60. Unfortunately, I don't think it will last. How long do I have to be divorced before being able to collect my widows benefits at age 60. I think it is 2 years. I am wondering if I should go ahead and end the marriage before it is too late financially, since I think that may happen anyway. I am 55 now.

Thanks so much, Terry


Support Replied ~ 06-29-2009 14:48:00

Dear Terry:
Your friend will be limited to the $14160.00 (this uear) amount of earnings if she files for widows benefits. That means that for every $2 over the limit SS keeps $1 of benefits. Therefore, if she were to earn say $20160.00 SS would hold $3000 of her benefits in 2009. If her benefit as a widow was $1000, then that would only be 3 checks in that year. She has the option, as a widow, to take widows anytime after age 60 and let her own benefit rate grow to the age 66 or age 70 amount. It depends on which benefit will grow higher. If her widows is a lot higher than hers, she might want to wait until age 62 and take hers and let her widows amount grow until she is age 66. Tell her to get her own 62 and 66 rate and to also get her widow age 60-62-66 rate so she can see how the benefits can grow.

I don't think the 2 yr wait is for widows benefit. I think you will be eligible as long as you are over age 60 and you are "not married". The wait you are talking about is that you cannot file for ex-wifes benefits for 2 years after you divorce that husband.

Thank-you very much for your donation. It helps with the process......Carol

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"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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