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Does my sister qualify

My sister's husband died unexpectedly after 33 years of marriage, having worked full time for over 35 yrs. When my sister was 61 she was told that she did not qualify for survivor benefits. She does work full time and makes about 70K/yr. Does her salary make it so that she does not qualify?
When her husband died, he did not have life insurance at that time, and she was left with a large mortgage payment. It's been quite a struggle for her since he died. She was not given any specifics as to why she did not qualify. Can anyone answer my question? Thank you

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The information your sister received sounds a little off.

Generally, if the husband worked more than ten years, and they were married 33 years, she should qualify for survivor benefits.

However, at age 61, she would only qualify for REDUCED benefits. She could get "full" benefits at age 66.

I am unaware of income limitations for survivor benefits. However, is she has an annual salary of $70K and is 61 now, she may want to delay receipt of survivor benefits because there is a heavy "earnings limitation". You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. But, if you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced.

http://www.ssa.gov/ww&os2.htm

http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ifyou2.htm

http://www.ssa.gov/survivorchartred.htm

http://ssa.gov/pubs/10069.html

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