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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Mar 27, 2012.


I am a military wife my husband passedaway in 2008 at the age of 59
I went to ss office yesterday, they say I can recieve my husbands survivor benefit. I am 60 - this is not a retirement check so it will not be taxed. Is this true?


Hi Sherri,

Taxable Social Security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. They do not include supplemental security income (SSI) payments, which are not taxable. See IRS Publication 915 at

No one pays federal income tax on more than 85 percent of his or her Social Security benefits based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. If you are single and your combined income is between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits. If your combined income is more than $34,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable. (Your "combined income" is your adjusted gross income + Nontaxable interest + 

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