Which Bend Points Will Be Used To Calculate My Survivor Benefit Rate?

Jan 2 2019 - 9:20am

When my x husband died in 2017 he was drawing disability around 2100. He had been drawing it since he was 50 for 9 years .
When i get 60 and draw his survivors benefit will they figure how much i will draw by the bend point of 2019 or by 2008 or will they just take from the 2100

Hi,

A person's Social Security disability (SSDI) benefit rate is equal to their primary insurance amount (PIA), which is roughly the amount that you could expect to receive as a survivor if you wait until your full retirement age (FRA) to start drawing survivor benefits. But, if you start drawing your survivor benefits at age 60 instead, you could expect to receive about 71.5% of that amount. Of course, that assumes that you meet all of the requirements to qualify for surviving divorced spouses benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0403.html).

There is an alternate computation method (i.e. WINDEX) that could be used in your case if your ex-husband died prior to age 62. That method would index your ex-husband's earnings based on either the year you turn age 60 or the year that your ex would have reached age 62, and the bend points for the applicable indexing year would be used. However, the WINDEX computation would only be used if it results in a higher PIA than your ex's SSDI PIA, and the WINDEX computation does not credit cost of living increases (COLA) that occurred prior to the indexing year, whereas your ex's SSDI PIA would be increased by any Social Security COLAs occurring after he became entitled to SSDI. Any COLAs occurring after your ex's death would also be credited when calculating your survivor rate if his SSDI PIA is used.

Our software is programmed to handle both of the above calculation methods for survivor benefits, so you may want to strongly consider using it to do your Social Security planning. The software would also permit you to explore and compare all of your filing options so that you can be sure to choose the best possible strategy for claiming your Social Security benefits.

Best, Jerry