Q:

What benefits does a widow receive?

A:

Quick Answer

A widow receives reduced or full Social Security benefits that belonged to a deceased spouse as early as age 60 or at full retirement age, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. Widows can also receive benefits at age 50 if disabled and the disability began before a spouse's death.

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Full Answer

Widows can receive survivor benefits at any age if caring for children under 16 on behalf of the deceased or if caring for children who are disabled, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. Caretakers typically receive approximately 75 percent of the worker benefits of the deceased. Even if a widow remarries, eligibility for survivor benefits are not typically affected as of 2015.

Social Security benefits disbursed are based on the deceased spouse's earning record and may be distributed to both widows and children of the deceased, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. When widows reach full retirement age, which is 66 as of 2015, they typically receive 100 percent of the amount of Social Security benefits their spouses received or were expected to receive prior to death, according to AARP. As of 2015, approximately 5 million widows and widowers receive monthly payments as part of Social Security benefits, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.

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