Will The Amount Of My Divorced Spousal Benefit Double If My Ex Dies Before Me?

Jun 3 2019 - 10:16am

Hi Larry..

I'll be claiming Social Security on my EX-spouse's work record (I stayed home with the kids) when I reach my FRA at age 67. My question pertains to SURVIVOR benefits:

I will receive only HALF of his monthly benefit amount at my FRA. As his EX-spouse, will this amount double ("100% of the deceased's FULL BENEFIT RATE ") in the event I survive him?

Thank you kindly.

Hi,

Not necessarily. Your survivor rate would depend in part on whether or not and when your ex claims his benefits. Unreduced divorced spousal benefits payable on the account of a living worker are paid at a rate of 50% of the worker's primary insurance amount (PIA). Unreduced surviving divorced spousal benefits are paid at a rate of 100% of the worker's PIA if the worker died before age 62, or if the worker started drawing their Social Security retirement benefits at full retirement age (FRA). If the worker started drawing their benefits after FRA or died after reaching FRA and before claiming benefits, the unreduced surviving divorced spousal rate would be equal to 100% of the worker's benefit rate inclusive of any delayed retirement credits (DRC) that the worker had accrued. On the other hand, if the worker started drawing their Social Security retirement benefits prior to FRA, the unreduced surviving divorced spousal rate would be equal to the higher of a) the worker's reduced monthly benefit rate, or b) 82.5% of the PIA.

Best, Jerry