Will My Mother's Husband's Spousal Benefit Increase If She Dies Before Him?

Jan 26 2017 - 7:45am

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I asked about Survivor benefits, but I think I need to be more clear. My mother's husband began getting spousal benefits based on HER social security at age 65. He gets about $200 a month after his Medicare payment is deducted. My mother collected survivor's benefits from her previous spouse, so her current husband is the only person who has ever drawn against her SSI. My mother is dying. Will her husband be eligible for an increase in benefits as a survivor or are survivor benefits the same amount as the spousal benefits he currently receives?


If her husband is receiving spousal benefits on your mother's Social Security record now, his benefit rate will increase in the event of her death. Unreduced spousal benefits are paid at a rate of 50% of the worker's full retirement age rate (PIA), whereas unreduced widower's benefits are paid at the worker's full rate. As I mentioned in my original answer, though, your mother's husband won't be eligible for any part of the survivor benefits that she receives on her prior spouse's record.

Best, Jerry