You probably know people who are receiving Social Security survivors benefits because they're a widow or widower. At present, there are about 5 million widows and widowers receiving monthly Social Security benefits based on their deceased spouse's earnings record. And, for many of those survivors, particularly aged women, those benefits are keeping them out of poverty.
Your widow or widower can receive:
reduced benefits as early as age 60 or full benefits at full retirement age or older.
benefits as early as age 50 if he or she is disabled AND their disability started before or within seven years of your death.
Note: If a widow or widower who is caring for your children receives Social Security benefits, he or she is still eligible if their disability starts before those payments end or within seven years after they end.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
If your widow or widower remarries after they reach age 60 (age 50 if disabled), the remarriage will not affect their eligibility for survivors benefits.
- Your widow or widower who has not remarried can receive survivors benefits at any age if she or he takes care of your child who is under age 16 or is disabled and receives benefits on your record.
Select one of the links below to get information about
- Estimate Your Life Expectancy
- Benefits For The Surviving Spouse By Year Of Birth
- Retirement Benefits By Year Of Birth
Note: If your widow or widower qualifies for retirement benefits on his or her own record, he or she can switch to their own retirement benefit as early as age 62.