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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Mar 4, 2012.

Question

I am a widow, my husband was in the Army from 1967 to 1973 . He died while on active duty in 1973. His pay was only $488 a month and we were married almost 4 years. I am 61 years old , never remarried and I have been told I should apply for Social security survivor benefits as an aged widow.
My question is --- with only 6 credits on his social security, would there be any money there ? What amount would it be? Also, I do receive DIC from the military. Can I receive DIC and aged widow benefits at the same time?
Thank you

Answer

There may be but the survivor rules are complicated and unique to each person.  Your deceased husband would not have been fully insured with only 6 credits (10 being the amount needed to be fully insured).  However, there are special rules for younger workers, so the younger your husband was when he passed away, the less credits he would have needed to accrue for a survivorship benefit.  Also, I believe DIC recipients have to take a reduction in social security survivor benefits, assuming they are eligible.

Each surviving widow or widower's situation is different, and the survivor rules are complicated.  I  recommend talking to a Social Security representative at your local office or at the call center with both of your social security numbers.  That will allow a Social Security survivor benefits specialist to help determine the specific answers for your situation.


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