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The Social Security Administration is very complex and full of changing laws and procedures. One of the most common questions facing retirees today relates to widows and their husband's social security benefits. The main factors that determine at what age the widow can collect her husband's social security are her birth date and current living circumstances.

How the birth date affects the age a widow can draw her husband's social security?

In order to receive full benefits a widow must have reached full retirement age. This age is considered to be age 66 for those born between 1945 and 1956. For those born between 1945 and 1956, the full retirement age occurs between the ages of 66 and 67. For those born in 1962 or later, full retirement age is 67. Partial benefits can begin to be collected as early as age 60 by widows. In addition, a widow will receive a one-time payment of $255, regardless of age, at the time of death of her husband.

What other circumstances affect a widow's ability to draw her husband's social security?

There are other factors that can affect what age a widow can draw her husband's social security. If the widow is disabled, benefits can begin at age 50. If the widow is taking care of a child that is under the age of 16 and receiving social security benefits, then she can receive benefits at any age. Also, if she is taking care of a disabled child, a widow can draw her husband's social security regardless of age. For other questions regarding at what age can a widow draw her husband's social security, the Social Security Administration should be contacted at 1-800-772-1213.