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Benefits for Widows, Widowers & Other Survivors

Outline: When a person has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies widows widowers and other survivors may be eligible for survivors benefits.

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When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, certain members of the family may be eligible for survivors benefits.

If your divorced spouse dies, you can receive benefits as a widow or widower if the marriage lasted 10 years or longer and you are age 60 or older (or age 50 if you are disabled.)

If you are collecting survivors benefits, you can switch to your own retirement benefits (assuming you are eligible and your retirement rate is higher than the widow or widower's rate) as early as age 62.

Benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse who is 60 or older (age 50 if disabled) will not affect the benefit rates for other survivors receiving benefits.

U.S. Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:

Further Information on Benefits for Widows, Widowers at the U.S. Social Security website - www.ssa.gov/ww&os2.htm

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