Darcy Bergen’s Overview of Social Security Benefits for Surviving Spouses

Darcy Bergen

March 13, 2020

Darcy Bergen

As the owner of Bergen Financial Group, Darcy Bergen has over 20 years of experience helping clients with their financial planning needs from IRAs, Social Security benefits, and Fixed Index Annuities. While most people know they will receive Social Security benefits when they retire, there’s still a lot of confusion regarding these benefits. Although there are currently 61 million people receiving Social Security benefits, the rest of the American population remains unaware of all of the benefits, such as surviving spouse benefits. Darcy Bergen offers an overview of how to use the Social Security benefits of a deceased spouse.


How Can a Surviving Spouse Qualify?

The death of a spouse is a traumatic event in the life of any person. However, when the death of a spouse causes financial distress, the pain is often magnified. Surviving spouses can qualify for Social Security benefits or their deceased spouse if they can show proof the marriage lasted at least nine months. Darcy Bergen also mentions that the deceased spouse should have had also worked long enough to accumulate Social Security benefits. If they meet the qualifications, widower/widow Social Security benefits will become available.


At What Age Can Surviving Spouses Collect Social Security Benefits?

Once they turn 60 years old, surviving spouses receive their Social Security survivor benefits. Darcy Bergen mentions, surviving spouses are only eligible for 70% of the benefit at that age. To obtain the full advantage, they have to wait until they reach full retirement age. The retirement age is 66 for those born between 1945-1956. It’s expected to increase to age 67 for those born in 1962 and later. There are a few age exceptions, however, for those individuals with disabilities. Darcy Bergen mentions disabled individuals can start collecting the survivor benefit as early as age 50. Another exception is surviving spouses who care for the child of their deceased spouse who is under the age of 16, can collect the benefits at any age.


Surviving Spouse Benefits Exceptions

Social Security benefits for surviving spouses have some exemptions. If a surviving spouse remarries before turning 60 or 50 if disabled, they will lose their eligibility. Also, if the deceased spouse had any dependent children, there might be a limit on the amount disbursed per family. Darcy recommends surviving spouses keep these things in mind.


For more information on Social Security and other retirement benefits, check out darcybergen.co.