If I File For Survivor Benefits At Age 66 Would I Receive The Amount That My Ex-Husband Was Receiving When He Died?

Aug 21 2018 - 9:55am

My ex-husband, whom I understand I am eligible to collect off him due to being married for 25yrs. and I never re-married, was on social security disability for 2 yrs. and then passed away at age 58. My question is would I receive the same amount he was collecting when he passed, if I wait till age 66? He had more paid into social security than I do. We never knew where he was but I did receive his social security statement and it said if you were to die today your spouse would receive 1700.00. Would that be an accurate gage? He collected social security disability and than passed away 2 yrs after that statement received in the mail. I thank you for all your help and advice. Do you ever recommend anyone in the area? I do not want to do this on my own. The past was too heartbreaking for myself and kids. Thank you again.

Hi,

If you file for survivor benefits at your full retirement age (FRA), your survivor rate would be at least as much as the amount that your ex would have been receiving if he was still living. In other words, your rate would include any Social Security cost of living increases that occurred after your ex's death. There is also an alternate survivor rate calculation method called WINDEX that would be used if it results in an even higher rate.

Your ex's Social Security statement may provide a very rough guideline of the amount you could expect, but it may substantially off if it's using assumptions that aren't accurate given your ex's earnings history and date of death. Furthermore, the statement would not consider the alternate WINDEX calculation.

You don't mention your age or whether or not you could qualify for retirement benefits based on your own record, so I really can't advise you regarding your likely best filing strategy. You should strongly consider using our maximization software to explore and compare your options so that you can determine your best strategy for claiming benefits.

Best, Jerry