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Widows, Wives and Social Security Benefits

Q. My husband died and soon I will file to collect Social Security survivor benefits. His ex-wife is already receiving benefits on his work record. Will this affect my ability to receive benefits from his record?

A. No, it will not. The amount of money you receive is not affected whatsoever by your late husband’s ex-wife’s eligibility. But how much you’re entitled to depends on several factors, including your age, whether you and your late husband had been receiving benefits and, if so, when those benefits started. For example, you may be eligible to receive full benefits at age 65 if you were born before Jan. 1, 1940, or reduced benefits as early as age 60.

You may want to call Social Security at (800) 772-1213 and ask them to review the facts of your case. You can also read “Survivors Benefits,” Social Security publication No. 05-10084, available at

Source: Stan Hinder

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