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2. Can You Collect Social Security Spousal Benefits If Your Spouse Dies?

Yes. If you are widowed, you can collect survivor's benefits starting at age 60. If you and your spouse are both receiving Social Security benefits when your spouse dies, you can choose either your own benefits or your spouse's, whichever is higher. When your spouse dies, if you haven't started receiving Social Security benefits, you can receive survivor's benefits and hold off filing for your own benefits until age 70. In some cases, doing this results in larger benefits. In addition, you receive a one-time payment of $255 when a spouse dies.

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