Q. I am 60 yrs old and receive social security disability benefits based on my work record. My husband turns 62 in 2013 and will apply for early social security benefits. If he passes away before I do, will I receive the full amount of his benefit check? Also, when I turn 66 will my disability benefit switch over to a benefit based on my work record?


A. If you are widowed, you will continue to receive your Social Security Disability Insurance benefit in full. If your widow benefit is greater than your own benefit, your monthly benefit will increase to the greater amount.

Your Disability Insurance benefit is based on your work record. At full retirement age, Disability Insurance benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits. The conversion is essentially an in-house bookkeeping change. The benefit itself continues unchanged other than by cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).