Can My Wife Receive Benefits On My Suspended Record?

Category: 
Nov 8 2016 - 11:30am

I am 67 and have been receiving my late wife's benefit since I turned 66.I suspended my benefit.My present wife turns 66 in August of 2017. Can she file on my suspended benefit?

Hi,

If you had filed and suspended on your own record, you would not be receiving a full widower's benefit. At most, you could only be receiving an excess widower's benefit (i.e. widower's benefit rate minus your own benefit rate). If that's the case, then your wife could potentially receive a spousal benefit on your suspended account, but only if you suspended your benefits prior to April 30 2016 (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/suspendfaq.html).

On the other hand, if you haven't filed for benefits on your own record and you are receiving a full remarried widower's benefit, then your current wife could not be eligible for a spousal benefit until you start drawing on your own record.

One way to determine if you have filed on your own record is from your Medicare number. If it's your own Social Security number with the letter A at the end, you've filed on your own account. But, if your Medicare number is your deceased wife's number with the letter D or D4 at the end, you haven't filed on your own account.

In any event, you may wish to run the maximization software available on this website for a full analysis of all of your filing options.

Best, Jerry