Can My Reduced Widow's Benefit Ever Be Changed To The Full Amount?

Category: 
Jun 7 2017 - 4:33pm

I recieve ss disability. My spouse passed away & I started receiving ss for widows at age 60. I did not know that I would recieve a reduced amount. Can this ever be changed to full amount ?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Yes, if you were already receiving Social Security disability benefits on your own record when you became entitled to widow's benefits, your widow's benefits will become unreduced when you reach full retirement age (FRA). This regulation is described in the following section of Social Security's operations manual, specifically in section C.3: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0300615350.

In spite of this rule, however, if your husband received reduced retirement benefits prior to his death, your benefit rate would be limited to the higher of a) your husband's reduced rate, or b) 82.5% of his primary insurance amount. (PIA).

Best, Jerry