Is My Sister's Husband Blowing Smoke Or Telling The Truth?

Category: 
Jan 10 2019 - 8:50am

My sister, age 79, has always had her SS benefit check deposited to her husband's account. Now that she is separated from him, she would like to have her SS check sent directly to her. Her husband told her that he opted years ago to take a higher benefit amount and that their SS benefits ended Dec 2018, so there will not be any more SS benefits for them. Is he blowing smoke or could he really be telling her the truth? Thank you.
Sincerely,
Michelle

Hi Michelle,

Sounds like smoke to me. Social Security retirement and spousal benefits are payable for the life of the person eligible for the payments. There is no such option as choosing to receive a higher benefit rate in return for only receiving benefits for a limited period of time.

If your sister wants to have her check deposited to a different account, she simply needs to contact Social Security to request a change. Social Security no longer sends out paper checks, so if your sister has no bank account she would need to set up payment via a Direct Express debit card. For more information, refer to Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/deposit/howtosign.htm.

Best, Jerry