Question: How am I able to know if I'm dually eligible for my Social Security plus widow's benefits?

Answer: You're dually eligible if you qualify for survivor benefits, plus your own Social Security on your work record, says Andy Landis, author of Social Security: The Inside Story.

For example, you might be the widow or widower of a worker who paid Social Security taxes, and also be such a worker yourself. If you apply for both at the same time, your payment will be the higher of the two. But by filing for one benefit earlier and delaying the other, you might get a higher lifetime payout.

Read more on that from the Social Security Administration, here, or call 1-800-SSA-1213.

Question: As a widow, I am interested in knowing the details for being dually eligible for Social Security. I've been widowed for several years already so I am likely not eligible but interested to know the details.

Answer: It sounds like you will be eligible for Social Security widow's benefits, says Landis. "You would be dually eligible if you're also eligible for your own Social Security on your work record," he says. "Then you could choose to start one payment first, and delay the other until it maximizes.

For details, see this Social Security webpage, especially the second bullet under "A few other situations."

Question: How am I able to know if I'm dually eligible for my Social Security plus widow's benefits?

Answer: You're dually eligible if you qualify for survivor benefits, plus your own Social Security on your work record, says Andy Landis, author of Social Security: The Inside Story.

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