Can My Spouse Be Entitled To Any Part Of My Social Security Even If I Didn't File For Benefits?

Oct 4 2017 - 6:20am

I will be 62 in November and eligible to begin drawing social security. I may wait and take my social security benefit to get the maximum amount. And that goes to my question which is --- if I wait to take my social security and I die before I take it, is my spouse entitled to any or part of my social security even though I have not applied to receive it?
Thank you.

Hi,

Yes, your spouse could potentially qualify for widow(er)'s benefits whether or not you ever apply for benefits. And, the longer you wait up until age 70 to start drawing your benefits, the higher the potential widow(er)'s rate would be. Your widow(er) could receive up to 100% of your full benefit rate, inclusive of any delayed retirement credits you receive for waiting past full retirement age (FRA) to start drawing. But, if you take reduced retirement benefits starting before FRA your spouse's widow(er)s benefit will be limited to the higher of a) your reduced rate, or b) 82.5% of your FRA rate.

You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website before filing in order to make sure that you and your spouse choose the best overall filing strategy.

Best, Jerry