"My father-in-law recently passed away. He had been divorced from his first wife since 1969. They were married for more than 10 years. His second wife died in 2006. His first wife now qualifies to receive his Social Security benefits. She thinks she should get both his benefits and the benefits she was getting on her own account. I think she is due only his benefits-which are higher than hers. Who is correct?"

Answer:  A widow or widower is entitled to the higher monthly benefit, either their own or their deceased spouse’s benefits, but not both.

William G. Nolan, Attorney at Law
Nolan Elder Law, LLC
Birmingham, Alabama  35226
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