Ask Terry Questions SSA Benefits

SSA Benefits

By Terry Savage on November 21, 2023 | Wild Card

I’ve been receiving spousal SS since April 2020 when my wife passed away and I’m deferring my own SS until I reach 70, which will be the end of Nov, 2023. Ever since I’ve been receiving spousal SS, I cannot see online what my new payment will be because I’m already receiving spousal SS. I’ve called SSA and they told me I need to make an phone appt which is another 2 months out. My question is this: do I need to re-apply for my own SS benefit (which should be higher than spousal SS according to my last statement in 2019), or does SSA automatically start paying out the higher amount the month after my 70th birthday? If I need to re-apply I’d like to do so ASAP. I cannot find this info online. Thanks!

Terry Says

Let’s hope you are not caught in the “widow’s” trap — as described in our new book, Social Security Horror Stories.” It shows how the “clerks” you talk to at SS check a box for you to take ALL your benefits — even though you said you ONLY wanted to take your widower’s benefit — intending to take YOUR OWN benefit at age 70, when it would be much higher.

Much to the surprise of the widow(er) when you go to take your own benefit at 70, they tell you that you signed up for ALL benefits when you started, but were getting the widow’s benefit because it was slightly higher than your own at that age. Now since you were ‘technically’ getting your own benefit all along, you can’t get the higher delayed credits.

Please contact SS, make that appointment, and if you run into this horror story, please write back and let me know. 60 Minutes might be looking for more outrageous horror stories!!



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