Q: I am a recent widow age 53. My husband was 58 when he passed away. We have an adult son age 28 who is autistic.
Our son draws ssi check for his disability. I have been in the home taking care of him since he was 3 years old. Can i draw my husbands social security now that he is gone?
A: If your late husband worked long enough to be insured, you, as a widow, can receive benefits from your late husband's Social Security at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60. You may begin receiving benefits based on your husband's Social Security as early as age 50 if you are disabled and the disability started before or within seven years of your late husband's death.
Your son may may be eligible to receive benefits based on this late father's record since he had a disability that began before age 22. As an adult child already receiving SSI disability benefits, your son should check to see if benefits may be payable on his father's earnings record. Higher benefits might be payable and entitlement to Medicare may be possible.
In addition, a small one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 can be paid to you as the surviving spouse.
To report your husband's death to Social Security or apply for survivor benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
It would be a good idea to consult with a disability attorney to discuss your particular circumstances since the rules in this area are complicated.
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