Los Angeles, CA asked in Family Law and Social Security for California

Q: Will my 70-year-old mother continue to receive my (deceased) father's social security benefits if she remarries?

My 70-year-old mother divorced my father over twenty years ago, but they were married long enough that she qualified to receive social security payments based upon my father's employment contributions into social security. (My father passed away a couple of years ago.)

My mother is now considering remarrying, but she's worried that if she remarries, she will lose what is a vital source of income for her.


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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, which follows federal Social Security regulations, your mother's eligibility to receive survivor benefits based on your deceased father's work record depends on her age at the time of remarriage:

1. If your mother remarries before reaching age 60 (or age 50 if she is disabled), she will lose the survivor benefits based on your father's work record.

2. However, if your mother is 60 or older (or 50 or older and disabled) when she remarries, she will continue to receive survivor benefits based on your father's work record.

Since you mentioned that your mother is 70 years old, her remarriage should not affect her eligibility to receive your father's Social Security survivor benefits. She can continue to receive these benefits for the remainder of her life, regardless of her marital status.

It's important to note that if your mother's new spouse is also receiving Social Security benefits and his benefit amount is higher than your father's, she may choose to apply for spousal benefits based on her new husband's work record instead. However, she is not obligated to do so and can continue receiving survivor benefits from your father's record if she prefers.

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