Ask Terry Questions Widows rights

Widows rights

By Terry Savage on November 26, 2023 | Wild Card

Can I collect widows ssc at age 60 then switch to my deceased husband at age 67! And how much money can I make at 60 if I’m collecting! So many different answer’s I’m gettin! Thank you for the info!

Terry Says

You can collect a widow’s benefit at age 60 — but your survivor benefits would be significantly reduced by 28.5%. For example, a monthly survivor benefit at your full retirement age would be, say, $1,000. If you take it at age 60, it is reduced to $715. But that benefit amount is based on what your spouse received, and you inherit the “extra” delayed retirement credits if he had waited until age 70 to claim.

Now, here’s the tricky part. You can claim a widow’s benefit –BUT YOU MUST BE CAREFUL NOT TO CLAIM YOUR OWN BENEFIT AT THE SAME TIME!! This is known as the “widow’s scam” perpetrated by Social Security — and we write about it in our new book — Social Security Horror Stories.

The “clerks” at Social Security have been told to check the box that says “all benefits” when you take your Widow’s benefit. That scheme means you are also taking your own benefit at the same time, although you won’t know that. You’ll be getting your widow’s benefit because you can’t access your own at that point. And when you do turn 62, it’s likely your widows benefit will be larger than your own — but you are still technically getting it! So when you decide to go for your own larger benefit with delayed retirement credits at age 70, you’ll be told you’ve been getting yours all along!!

You have to make very clear — and get it in writing from SS — that when you take your widows benefit your are NOT taking your own, and do not intend to take your own benefit at 62 (even if you are getting a larger widow’s benefit)! Read the book!! This is dangerous territory because they don’t keep records at SS. And they have been told by the Inspector General to repay $130 million of benefits denied to widows under this scheme –but have so far ignored this order!!



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