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Dear Vanessa: Will I Still Receive Social Security from My Deceased Spouse if I Decide to Remarry?

Choosing to remarry after your spouse passes away could mean you are no longer eligible to receive Social Security survivor benefits. The answer, however, will depend primarily on your own age and when you choose to remarry.

A Brief Explanation of Social Security Survivor Benefits 

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website details everything you need to know about how workers can earn survivor benefits should they pass away, as well as eligibility rules surrounding their survivors, which would include their spouse, children or parents. 

Workers earn Social Security benefits by accruing credits each year they work. Workers can earn up to four credits each year but need no more than 40 credits in total to be eligible for any Social Security benefit – with the caveat that the younger a person is when they die, the fewer credits they must have. 

We encourage you to read more on SSA’s site to learn about specific benefits that may apply to your situation. 

What Happens to Your SSA Benefits if You Remarry

If you are a widow or widower receiving Social Security benefits from your deceased spouse, there are factors that may affect your ability to continue receiving ongoing benefits. 

Namely, if you remarry before the age of 60 (or age 50 if you are disabled), you cannot receive benefits as a surviving spouse while you are married. 

If you remarry after the age of 60 (or age 50 if you are disabled), you will continue to qualify for benefits on your deceased spouse’s Social Security record. 

As noted by the SSA, however, if you remarry before you turn 60 and that marriage ends, you may become entitled or re-entitled to benefits on your prior deceased spouse’s earnings record if all entitlement requirements are met.

If you are considering remarriage as a widow, you should evaluate the full picture of any benefits you are receiving from your deceased spouse, including any Social Security benefits. 

For questions on this or any Florida family law topic, please get in touch with our team at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group.