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Changing social security benefit per deceased spouse

By Terry Savage on July 30, 2020 | Financial Planning / Retirement

My husband passed away four years ago. He was retired and receiving social security benefits. He would now be 68 and started taking benefits at 62. I started receiving social security based on my work record about two years ago and am subject to the WEP.
Prior to retiring I had an analysis (by the SSA) done to compare my social security benefit to my benefit based on my husband’s record. At that time due to the GPO, it was more beneficial for me to choose benefits based on my record.
My question is, would the benefit I could receive increase due to the age my husband would be now or would it be based on the amount when he passed away? If the amount would not have increased it would not be worth having a new analysis completed. I’ve tried calling the SSA, but have had no luck getting through.
Thank you

Terry Says

Here’s a rather complicated explanation of the rules that apply. No, you don’t get benefits based on those he “would have” gotten at this age– BUT, there is a special deal for widows of spouses who claimed early benefits. Here’s the rule:

If the deceased worker started receiving reduced retirement benefits before their full retirement age, a special rule called the retirement insurance benefit limit may apply to the surviving spouse. The retirement insurance benefit limit is the maximum survivor benefit you may receive. Generally, the limit is the higher of:

The reduced monthly retirement benefit to which the deceased spouse would have been entitled if they had lived, or
82.5 percent of the unreduced deceased spouse’s monthly benefit if they had started receiving benefits at their full retirement age (rather than choosing to receive a reduced retirement benefit early).

I suggest you contact Social Security and ask them to re-calculate YOUR benefit amount based on the rule above!



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