Why Don't I Get More Of My Deceased Husband's Social Security?

Nov 28 2018 - 3:09pm

Retired after 23 yrs, husband is deceased, retired Major Airforce, have DD214 forms, divorced after his retirement, he as in intellengence at Pentagon, I only get 83.00 mthly SS from him, we were married 23 years, why do I not qualify any more of his SS, I checkd with SS here with no answer?


I'm sorry for your loss.

I don't have enough information about your case to give you a definite answer, but if you're receiving a government pension based on your work and earnings that were exempt from Social Security taxes then your widow's benefits could be subject to offset due to the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision. If that's the case, your Social Security widow's benefits would be offset by 2/3rds of the amount of your government pension (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf).

If the GPO provision doesn't apply in your case but you're also receiving Social Security benefits based on your own work record, then you would only be eligible for a partial widow's benefit equal to the difference between your own retirement benefit rate and your widow's rate. You can't be paid both benefits in full at the same time, just the higher of the 2 rates.

I can't think of any other reason why your widow's rate would be so low, unless your husband didn't have much in the way of Social Security covered earnings. You may want to try using our software to see if that might help clear things up for you.

Best, Jerry