TN 5 (12-03)
NL 00711.040 Widow's Benefits Paragraphs
400. GENERAL—AGE 60 OR OVER
Monthly benefits may be paid to a widow at age 60 or later if her husband was insured
at the time of his death. If the widow decides to take benefits before full retirement
age, the amount of her monthly payment will depend on the number of months she is
under full retirement age and whether her husband had received a reduced benefit.
If she does not take the benefits until age 62, her payment will be approximately
82.5 percent of the monthly benefit amount that her husband would have received. At
age 60, her payment will be 71.5 percent of her husband's monthly benefit amount;
and, at full retirement age, 100 percent—except that if her husband had received social
security benefits at a reduced rate between the ages of 62 and full retirement age,
a widow will receive no more than the amount of the husband's reduced benefit.
Under certain conditions, she may receive disability benefits at age 50 or later on
her husband's earnings record if she becomes disabled.
405. REMARRIED WIDOW
A widow who remarries after age 60 may still be entitled to monthly benefits on her
deceased husband's earnings record.
415. GENERAL—WIDOW UNDER
Monthly benefits may be paid to a widow before she attains age 60 if her husband was
insured at the time of his death and she has in her care a child of her husband entitled
to child’s benefits. However, a widow's benefit will not be paid if the child in her
care has attained age 16 and is not disabled.
When a child in the care of his widowed mother reaches age 18 or is no longer entitled
to benefits, payments to the widow stops. If her husband was fully insured at death,
she may receive monthly benefits again when she reaches age 60. If a widow becomes
disabled she may under certain conditions be entitled to disability benefits at age
50 or later.
416. DISABLED WIDOW—BETWEEN AGES 50-60
Monthly benefits may be paid to a widow prior to age 60 if her husband was insured
at the time of death and if she has attained age 50 and is disabled.
To be considered disabled, she must have a physical or mental impairment that is severe
enough to prevent her performing gainful work and has lasted (or is expected to last)
12 months or more. In general, the disability must have started before her husband's
death or within 7 years (84 months) after his death.
416.1 AMOUNT OF DISABLED WIDOW'S
Disabled widow's benefits are always reduced. The reduction is made first for each
of the 60 months between age 60 and full retirement age and then for each month of
her entitlement before age 60 because of her disability.
420. DUAL ENTITLEMENT
Your application for widow's benefits is also an application for retirement benefits
on your own earnings record, unless you restrict your application to widow's benefits
You are entitled to reduced retirement benefits of approximately $
(a) on your own earnings record beginning (b)
(month and year). You will continue to receive this reduced amount even after you are full retirement
You are also entitled to widow's benefits of approximately $
(c) on your husband's earnings record beginning
(d) (month and year).
Although you are entitled to both benefits, under the law you can only receive an
amount equal to the larger of the two. Therefore, you may want to consider restricting
your application to widow's benefits. By doing this, you could receive widow's benefits
and then at full retirement age file for your retirement insurance benefits on your
own earnings records. You would then receive an unreduced retirement benefit amount
of $ (e) .
The benefit amount at full retirement age is unreduced only if the widow did not receive
widow's benefits prior to age 62.
Do you wish to restrict your application to only widow's benefits at this time? YES
422. ENTITLED TO A LARGER RETIREMENT
BENEFIT ON OWN EARNINGS RECORD
A woman is not entitled to a widow's benefit if she is receiving a retirement benefit
on her own social security record equal to or more than the amount of her unreduced
425. INQUIRY REGARDING PAYMENT
Benefits may be paid to a widow who is not disabled only if she is at least age 60
or is caring for a child under age 18 or a disabled child who is entitled on the same
If she decides to take benefits before full retirement age, her monthly benefits will
be at a reduced rate. An explanation and example of reduced benefits are given in
the enclosed booklet, “Your Social Security.”
426. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SURVIVING
DIVORCED WIFE — DECEASED WORKER NOT ON ROLLS AT DEATH
In order for a claimant to be entitled as a surviving divorced wife, the claimant
Be finally divorced from the wage earner; and
Have been married to him for a period of at least 10 years immediately before the
date the divorce became final.
If she has a child in her care entitled to benefits on her former husband's record,
she may receive benefits before age 60. In this case, she need not have been married
for 20 years.
However, these benefits cannot be paid if the only child in her care is age 18 or
more and is receiving benefits as a student.