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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 7, 2013.

Question

I''m 25 years old and my wife recently passed away whom was also 25. We have no children together, however she has 2 children from a previous relationship in which they were never married. I know the children are entitled to survivors benefits but was wondering if I were also entitled to survivors benefits. I also do not have any type of custody arrangement with my step children.

Answer

If your wife worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60, or begin receiving benefits as early as age 50 if you are disabled AND the disability started before or within seven years of the worker''s death. For your wife to be considered to be fully insured, she would have had to attain at least 6 quarters of coverage.

If you are caring for your spouse''s children, you may be eligible to receive benefits. There are family and income limitations. You should contact your Social Security office, or call 1-888-772-1213.


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