Ask Terry Questions Social security benefits for widow -CORRECTION!

Social security benefits for widow -CORRECTION!

By Terry Savage on November 21, 2023 | Wild Card

My mother-in-law’s husband of 20 years just passed away. Social security has approved her to receive his benefits. He was 98 years old and began drawing SS at 70. They are telling her as a surviving spouse she is only entitled to what his benefit would have been at his full retirement age of 65. Is this correct? That is approximately $400 per month difference.

Terry Says

Let me issue a correction here — and give your mother-in-law a chance at getting her greater benefits.
If a SPOUSE takes benefits he/she can receive 50% of a retired worker’s enefit. Sousal benefits can start at age 62 — but are reduced for each month they are claimed before the full retirement age. BUT, spousal benefits do not increase if the retired worker earns Delayed Retirement Credits (having delayed, for example, taking benefits til 70).

A WIDOW can collect reduced SURVIVOR benefits at age 60. BUT A WIDOW CAN ALSO INHERIT DRCs if the retired worker claimed benefits AFTER reaching his full retirement age!!

Sorry to have reversed this advice when I posted last night — obviously staying up too late to give you the correct answer.



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