Will SSA Really Suspend My Survivor Benefits When I Reach Age 62?

Aug 10 2018 - 1:23pm

I will be 60 in a few months and have applied for my divorced deceased ex spouse benefit with SSA. The representative said that I fall under new regs implemented a few years ago and that I will be notified a few months prior to my 62nd birthday requesting that I apply for my own social security benefit. If I don't then my divorced deceased ex spouse benefit will be suspended. I asked for the POM Manual regs. on this but was given the SSA publication "What Every Woman Should Know"...to page 17 that only states that at age 60 you can receive this benefit if you aren't entitled to a higher benefit on your own record. I thought the benefit for which I applied for was a survivor benefit. Will SSA really suspend this benefit at age 62?

Hi,

No. Assuming that your own retirement benefit rate is higher than your reduced survivor rate, what Social Security (SSA) likely will do once you reach age 62 is notify you that you have the option to switch to a higher benefit amount based on your own work record. Those notices are only informational, though, and your survivor benefits will not be suspended if you elect not to file for retirement benefits on your own account.

In all likelihood, if your own retirement benefit rate is higher than your reduced survivor rate your best option would be to delay claiming retirement benefits on your own record until you reach age 70. However, you should strongly consider using our maximization software to compare your options in order to make sure that you choose the best possible strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry