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Old 07-21-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
3,007 posts, read 2,186,870 times
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I Keep getting confilicting answers from SS and from various boards like this one on whether or not in actual fact a surviving spouse gets the full amount of the deceased spouses benefit if the deceased spouse waited till 70 to collect.
What I find in SS rules says that the survivor only receives the deceased BASIC benefit that they would have received at FRA plus any COLA's that have taken place or do in the future.

I have also read various articles by financial advisors saying the opposite and I have gotten both answers direct on the phone from SS.

I would like to know if there is ANYONE on this board who is in fact receiving the increased survivor benefit that includes not just COLA but the increased credits your spouse earned working to 70.


I would also like to know what happens if you use the file and suspend and spouse keeps working while non working spouse files and then the Working spouse dies BEFORE actually collecting anything say they die at 69 when FRA was 66 [which is when they did file and suspend] Would the spouse collect based on what the deceased would have gotten at 66 or at 69 when they died?
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:17 PM
 
13,773 posts, read 33,976,035 times
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Have you gone to a SS office or just called the 800 #? I would go to your local SS office so you can talk directly 'face to face' with someone. They are more likely to ask someone if they are unsure if you are sitting there.

Since you are getting so many different answers I don't know that anyone here can tell you any differently. AFAIK you get whichever amount (yours or theirs) is more when a spouse dies. I collected my LH's SS because his was more until I turned 66 and then they started using mine.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,747 posts, read 4,234,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arwenmark View Post
I Keep getting confilicting answers from SS and from various boards like this one on whether or not in actual fact a surviving spouse gets the full amount of the deceased spouses benefit if the deceased spouse waited till 70 to collect.
What I find in SS rules says that the survivor only receives the deceased BASIC benefit that they would have received at FRA plus any COLA's that have taken place or do in the future.

I have also read various articles by financial advisors saying the opposite and I have gotten both answers direct on the phone from SS.

I would like to know if there is ANYONE on this board who is in fact receiving the increased survivor benefit that includes not just COLA but the increased credits your spouse earned working to 70.


I would also like to know what happens if you use the file and suspend and spouse keeps working while non working spouse files and then the Working spouse dies BEFORE actually collecting anything say they die at 69 when FRA was 66 [which is when they did file and suspend] Would the spouse collect based on what the deceased would have gotten at 66 or at 69 when they died?
Sorry, my ex is not yet 70 nor dead. A lot of people get confused because survivor benefits are not the same as spousal benefits. However, SSA is clear about this:

D. If you are a widow(er) of a worker who had received or was eligible for delayed retirement credits, then you are entitled to the same increase that had been applied to the benefit of your deceased spouse or for which the deceased was eligible as of the time of death. A surviving (including divorced) spouse receiving widow(er)'s benefits is also entitled to this increase.

SSA Handbook 720

So, yes, the survivor will get what the deceased worker was receiving at the time of his death OR was eligible to receive at the time of his death.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
3,007 posts, read 2,186,870 times
Reputation: 6706
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Sorry, my ex is not yet 70 nor dead. A lot of people get confused because survivor benefits are not the same as spousal benefits. However, SSA is clear about this:

D. If you are a widow(er) of a worker who had received or was eligible for delayed retirement credits, then you are entitled to the same increase that had been applied to the benefit of your deceased spouse or for which the deceased was eligible as of the time of death. A surviving (including divorced) spouse receiving widow(er)'s benefits is also entitled to this increase.

SSA Handbook 720

So, yes, the survivor will get what the deceased worker was receiving at the time of his death OR was eligible to receive at the time of his death.
Thanks so much at least this is somewhere on their own site that clearly says it. They sure don't try to make it obvious or easy to find though I must say.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,403 posts, read 3,740,490 times
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The survivor receives the higher of their own work benefit or the deceased spouse. They can only collect one check. I do not know about death at 69 and collecting at 70. I think the survivor could still delay to 70 but in the worst case they would be able to claim the same benefit that the deceased could have at 69.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
3,007 posts, read 2,186,870 times
Reputation: 6706
What some of the responders seem to have missed is that the non working spouse is just that non working, never worked, no record of their own.
I do now have the difinitive answer on the survivor benefit, and yes if the working spouse has earned extra credits by working past FRA, those credits do pass to the surviving spouse if the working spouse were to die beyond FRA.
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