Social Security rules allow widows or widowers to claim some or all of their deceased spouse's retirement benefits according to an age-based formula. A widowed spouse may be entitled to the deceased worker's benefits even if he or she remarries if certain age-based standards are met. If the deceased worker had retired early and taken a reduced benefit amount, the widow's benefit is figured from that reduced amount.
Nothing Under Age 60
A widowed spouse who remarries before age 60 (before age 50 in the case of a disabled widowed spouse) isn't entitled to any of the deceased worker's Social Security benefits, according to the Social Security Administration website.
Rule for Age 60
Video of the Day
A widowed spouse who remarries after age 60 (age 50 for a disabled widowed spouse) is entitled to the deceased worker's benefits according to the same formula that would be applied if the widowed spouse hadn't remarried. That formula grants 71 percent to 100 percent of the deceased worker's benefit, depending mainly on the widowed spouse's age.
Rule for Age 62
A widowed spouse aged 62 or more who remarries may get a spouse's retirement benefit based on the new spouse's work record if that benefit would be higher than the widow's benefit from the deceased worker. That spousal benefit would be paid once the new spouse retires.