A: You can collect Social Security Survivor benefits once you are at least 60 years old, or younger in the case of accidental death or if you are caring for a child under the age of 16. There is a reduction in benefits if you choose to collect survivor benefits prior to your full retirement age. See the reduction amount HERE. You can also switch to your own benefit at anytime between age 62 and 70 if your own retirement benefit is higher. A survivor must have been married for nine months prior to their spouse’s death the be entitled to survivor benefits.