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Termination of Widow(er)'s Insurance Benefits

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at


409. Termination of Widow(er)'s Insurance Benefits

409.1 When do your widow(er)'s benefits end?

Your widow(er)'s insurance benefits end when:

  1. You die;

  2. You become entitled to a retirement insurance benefit that is equal to or larger than the worker's primary insurance amount;

  3. For benefits payable prior to January 1991, you qualified only under the conditions explained in §402 (B) and monthly benefits were awarded on the same earnings record to another individual who either:

    1. Validly married the deceased worker; or

    2. Has the same status under State law with respect to the taking of intestate personal property as you would as the widow(er); or

  4. Your disability ends. In this case, your last month of entitlement is the second month after the month in which your disability ended. However, your entitlement continues if you reach retirement age on or before the last day of the third month after your disability ends.

You are not entitled to widow(er)'s benefits for the month in which any one of the above events occurs, except as explained in (D).

409.2 Do benefits end or are they reduced upon remarriage?

Your benefits will not terminate or be reduced upon remarriage if:

  1. You are a widow(er) or surviving divorced wife or husband age 60 or over; or

  2. You are a disabled widow(er) or a disabled surviving divorced wife or husband age 50 or over.

See §406 for the effects of remarriage on benefits.

Last Revised: Feb. 2, 2007

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