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Widow or worker benefits

I just heard this subject from my relatives and wonder if it's true and can be applicable in my own situation.

First of all, both of my husband's and my estimated (based on the statement we received each year) Social Security benefits are about the same at full retirement age because we earned about same wage throughout most of our careers. Though my husband was 9 years older than me.

My husband died in 2005 at age 69 when he was receiving $1,000 a month in his own Social Security benefits. I just retired at age 67 last month and am receiving $1,200/month under MY OWN Social Security benefits. Other than receiving the one-time $255 death benefits back in 2005, am I allowed (if so, is it more beneficial?) to take my husband's benefits when he died, up until I reach age 70 (in about 3 years), drop his, and then take mine at a higher rate (the statement says $1,400)? If I was allowed and continued to take my husband's benefits when he died, I would be receiving about $1,200/month now (same as my own.) It's been 5+ years since my husband died, can I still do this?

I appreciate any feedbacks on this.

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Please contact Social Security for this.

This may have been possible, since many cases, you can begin receiving reduced benefits either on your own or your spouse's record at age 62 and then switch to the other benefit when you reach full retirement age, if that amount is higher.

http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ww&os2.htm#retirement

However, your plan may not be possible since you have already started receiving benefits based on your work record.

The SSA recently eliminated some "pay back and start with higher benefit" programs so this may no longer be possible.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration