Is This Correct?

Category: 
Apr 25 2018 - 9:29am

I worked for 27 full yrs.Having been born in 1949, my FRA would be at age 66. At age 62 I applied for my benefits, base being 1, 266. minus Medicare premium of $187 because my investments did so well last yr. My husband, also born in 1949 kept working. He died at age 63 yr and 8 mos, employed at the time of ,his death. I am now 68 yrs and 4 mos. old. I had planned on waiting until I was 70 to apply for my deceased spouse's benefits, thinking that each year after age 66, his benefits would grow (for me) 8% a year. After talking to my tax preparer, he suggested that I check my plan with SSA. I did, and disappointingly found out that the most I can get in spousal benefits is what my spouse WOULD HAVE received at age 66: $2,532. I can get only 6 mos. of "back" benefits, thus losing 21 months of benefits. The letter from SSA states that I am getting monthly widow benefits of $1,265.90, in addition to the benefit of $1,266.30 on my own earnings.Is this correct?

Hi,

Yes, that all sounds about right based on the facts you've described. You could only receive essentially the higher of a) your husband's full retirement age rate (PIA) or b) your own reduced retirement benefit rate although Social Security technically breaks that up into separate benefit amounts if you're already drawing your own benefits. And, survivor benefits do not accrue delayed retirement credits if you wait past your full retirement age to claim them and you can only be paid widow's benefits for a maximum of 6 months retroactively from the month of your application.

Best, Jerry