When Can You Receive a Widow's Pension?


Quick Answer

Federal survivor's benefits through Social Security are available in full at retirement age or as a reduced benefit beginning at age 60. As of 2015, the survivor's qualifying retirement age for full benefits is between 65 and 67, depending on year of birth.

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Full Answer

In the United States, both widows and widowers are eligible for surviving spouse benefits regardless of gender, and divorced spouses are eligible in marriages longer than 10 years. Eligibility for the benefit is based on the age of the recipient, not the age of the deceased spouse. This payment is referred to as a survivor's benefit; the term "widow's pension" is not used by the federal government.

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