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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

Can I collect both my own retirement benefit when I turn 62 and my widower's benefit?

Generally speaking, you cannot collect two full benefits. If you file for both a retirement benefit and a survivor benefit, Social Security will compare the two benefits and give you the greater of the two. Keep in mind that if you claim either or both benefits prior to your full retirement age, the amount benefit will be reduced for life, unless you go back to work and exceed the annual earnings ceiling.

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