I have a pension of $3916 making me subject to reductions with both WEP and GPO. I am turning 65 this year. I purchased access to your software and entered the WEP/GPO information. My benefit amount with WEP and the survivor benefit with GPO seem to match what the Social Security office told me. However, the reports show a net benefit column that is equal to the sum of my benefit (subject to WEP) and the survivor benefit (subject to GPO) added together. This is contrary to what the Social Security office told me. They said I would receive only the higher of the two benefits. What is correct regarding survivor benefits?
Hi. If you qualify for both Social Security retirement and survivor benefits and if you apply for both benefits, Social Security always pays at least the retirement benefit. If the survivor benefit rate is higher than the retirement benefit rate, then Social Security pays a partial, or excess, survivor benefit in addition to the retirement benefit. The result in most cases is that the eligible individual ends up receiving a total of the higher benefit rate.
When people are collecting more than one type of Social Security benefit, the benefits are combined into a single payment unless either of the benefits is a disability benefit. Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits are paid from a separate trust fund than retirement and survivor benefits, so if a dually entitled beneficiary receives SSDI then that benefit payment is paid separately from their other benefit.