Why Aren't I Getting A Full Widow's Benefit?

Oct 30 2017 - 9:56am

My husband retired at age 66 was going to continue to work. He died after 2 checks. I am also on SS at 62 which is just a very small amount. I am now getting survivor benefits but is much less than his full SS. The SS office is telling me because I am now 63 I collect his benefits based on my age. I find this unfair to be penalized and can't understand why I am not getting the full amount.


I'm sorry for your loss.

To get a full benefit amount from most types of Social Security benefits, you must wait until full retirement age to start drawing them. This is true of both retirement and widow's benefits. Since you filed for both benefits prior to your full retirement age (FRA), both are reduced for age and you can only receive the higher of the 2 rates.

If you can afford to, you may want to consider withdrawing your application for widow's benefits and just draw your retirement benefits until you reach FRA. You could then switch to an unreduced widow's rate at FRA. To determine if this or some other strategy would be more optimal for you, you may want to consider using the maximization software available on this website.

Best, Jerry