SOCIAL SECURITY Q&A: Benefits go to legal spouse after death

Question: My husband and I separated but remained married even though he lived with another woman for the last decade. He died recently. Can I receive Social Security benefits as his widow even though we have been apart for years?

Answer: If monthly Social Security survivor benefits are payable, they would be paid to you as the legal widow. Since you were not living together, a one-time payment of $255 to help offset funeral costs is usually not payable.

Survivor benefits based on your age can begin as early as age 60. For younger widow or widowers with a severe disability, survivor benefits can begin as young as age 50. They are also payable at any age if eligible children are involved. More about SSA survivors benefits is at www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors. Read more…

 

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