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spousal benefits and deceased spouse
Old 12-23-2017, 09:11 AM   #1
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spousal benefits and deceased spouse

i have not seen anything about this but i am curious . it does not apply to me but it is one of those questions that makes you think .

if a wife is collecting a benefit and has her husbands spousal adder as part of her benefit , if he dies , i assume she gets to keep her benefit with the spousal adder until she files for survivor .

on the other hand if the wife did not file yet and was delaying and her husband dies pre her fra , if she wants to delay survivor and take her own , she gets no spousal adder at this point since he died .

does this sound correct ?

if it is ,then this can be another factor considered when one delays . there can be a lot of money given up . my wife got 4k a year added to her benefit when i filed and she got the spousal adder
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Old 12-23-2017, 04:54 PM   #2
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thinking about this makes my hair hurt . but here is what i think .

i don't think it would ever pay for a widow who has any spousal added to her check to not take survivor benefits instead .

here is why ....

if you are the wife your own benefit on your work history can be even higher than your husbands and you don't need survivor benefits .

but once spousal comes in to play the most both parts , your own benefit and spousal added together can ever be is no more than 50% of the husbands full .

so that is the max the wife on spousal would ever get .


however the least amount a widow would get on survivor benefits from 62 on would be the husbands full x.81 for taking it early .

at age 60 she would still get the husbands full x.71 so in all cases it is more than the 50% with spousal .
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:27 PM   #3
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Could you frame your question with some numbers? Not sure what you're asking.

I can tell you about my case. I was 63 when DH died, so not collecting spousal. I now get Widow's benefits equal to what he was collecting based on his work record (about $1,900/month). I could collect more based on my own record- $2,400/month but am waiting to age 70 when it should be closer to $3,500/month.
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:49 PM   #4
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Just saw on my local news a lady that had been collecting her dead mothers SS for 15 years and got caught
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:09 PM   #5
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Typically when a person dies the undertaker notifies social security, so was the body ever buried/cremated? Or did she tell the undertaker not to notify SS. This is of course the way you catch that also only thru an undertaker can you get a death certificate, which is needed for a number of reasons, unless the person died broke.
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:39 PM   #6
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Is this a pension or SS? As someone else mentioned, please rephrase as I really do not know what you are asking...

I have never heard of a pension giving out more money because of a spouse... I have heard it being less as the spouse will continue to get benefits after the main persons death...

Also, if you do not report a death they can come back and get the payments they should not have paid...
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:44 PM   #7
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The question here that I'm not sure about is the situation where the living spouse hasn't started SS yet. I would think that when the other spouse dies, the survivor could take the survivor benefit. But if, by waiting until 70 the survivor could get a larger payment, would they be allowed to make the change then?

For some made up numbers, dead at age 68 spouse was pulling in $2500/month. So after the death, the surviving spouse, age 66 but hasn't claimed SS yet, could take that $2500/month. But at age 70 the surviving spouse would be eligible for $3000/month. Would they be allowed to make that change?

As mathjak said, this is more of an intellectual exercise than a real life one for me. I'm just curious.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:26 PM   #8
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Iím not sure what you are asking but I know that you canít defer a spousal benefit and have it increase until age 70 unless the spouse that passed had already reached age 70 and not claimed the benefit. For example, I plan to claim widow benefit at 60, and defer my benefit on my earnings until age 70 because that will increase it.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
if a wife is collecting a benefit and has her husbands spousal adder as part of her benefit , if he dies , i assume she gets to keep her benefit with the spousal adder until she files for survivor

Iím not sure, but I think the wife in this case can suspend her benefits and take the survivor benefit. However, if she has already claimed then her benefit will not increase so there may be no point in that.
Or, ss may require her to take the larger of the two if she has already filed for her own benefit.

In my experience ss is notified by the funeral home and the numbers are adjusted immediately.

No, you donít get both benefits at once, quite an issue if you happen to have mortgages and such dependent on two peoples ss estimates.
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Old 12-24-2017, 02:42 AM   #10
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okay , let me give you an example .

my wife has been collecting ss before me . now that i filed she got a spousal adder she was eligible for added to her own benefit . that is how social security shows spousal now. they show your benefit and then add any spousal on top .

so she went from her benefit of 750 a month to a new rate of 1100 a month .

so now she gets 1100 a month .

if i die , she has a choice , she can file for survivor or keep her own benefit . my original question was if she keeps her own benefit do they deduct the spousal adder ?


but thinking about this scenario , i believe it would never pay to keep any benefit that even qualified for spousal because i am pretty sure the benefit even with the spousal portion still included would never be more than survivor .

even if there were reductions in survivor because both parties filed for ss pre fra the least amount a widow can get is her husbands fukk x.71 at age 60 .at age 62 the min is full x.81 .

that is because with survivor there is what is called the widow's floor protecting against to steep of a double cut if both filed for ss pre fra .

so what i am saying , is i think the scenario i created really can't come up because survivor will always be higher than keeping ones own benefit if they had originally qualified for a spousal ,since their benefit could not have been more than 50% full in order to have gotten any spousal in the first place
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:46 AM   #11
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When you die, she gets the larger of her or your SS benefit. She gets 1100 a month. I assume you get 2200 a month. So, she'll get 2200 a month after you pass.
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:48 AM   #12
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correct , that part is known . but does her "own " still count any spousal adder she was getting added to her benefit once you die ?

remember her benefit is made up of her own and an adder as spousal so once added is that spousal always considered " her benefit " if she elects not to take survivor . survivor benefits are a different set of rules .

in fact lets reverse the question .

if her benefit includes a spousal adder , if she takes survivor first , leaving her own to grow , does the added spousal benefit she had been collecting stay hers and grow while delaying it by taking survivor ?

i think not but i am not sure .i think all traces of spousal ends when the spouse who's record is being used dies .
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Old 12-24-2017, 06:40 AM   #13
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if i die , she has a choice , she can file for survivor or keep her own benefit . my original question was if she keeps her own benefit do they deduct the spousal adder ?
Once you are gone, she no longer has a spouse. Thus, she is no longer entitled to the spousal benefit. There is no choice here.

Since there was a positive spousal benefit, then her own benefit must have been less than half of yours. Thus, her survivor benefit will always be more than she was getting while collecting a spousal benefit.

Nobody is allowed to collect both spousal and survivor benefits at the same time.
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:08 AM   #14
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Right, and thanks for the clarification of your question. The "spousal adder" is the amount to bring her benefit up from what she was entitled to on her own work record, to what she collects as a Spouse, which is half of your benefit.

Once you're gone she gets what you were collecting- no spousal benefit at all so the "spousal adder" is irrelevant. Many couples are unprepared for this (I know you're thinking ahead) and it's sad to see the stories of households where the primary earner died and household SS income goes from 150% of the primary earner's SS to 100% when there are few additional resources.
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:53 AM   #15
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not quite how it works because there are choices .

lets take my wife as an example .

her benefit was about 700 bucks . when i filed for ss she got another 400 dollars added to her benefit .

if i die , she has two choices .

she could take survivor and forget about her benefit totally .

or she could take survivor and let her own grow to 70 and switch if that results in more .

but what constitutes her benefit as far as growing is only her portion of ss , any spousal addition i think dies with me and stops . so it is the 700 that keeps growing , not the 1100 .

it seems to make sense that you lose any spousal additions you may have been getting .

i know for a fact a person with no work history and getting 100% spousal has the benefit terminate and they get switched to survivor because spousal dies with the spouse and stops for the surviving spouse.

i assume if you have your own record and what to keep it growing by taking survivor until 70 that you only have your 700.00 dollar portion growing not the 1100 in the above example
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:56 AM   #16
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but what constitutes her benefit as far as growing is only her portion of ss , any spousal addition i think dies with me and stops . so it is the 700 that keeps growing , not the 1100 .
Yes, that's my understanding.
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:00 AM   #17
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the question had come up on another forum and to use my example: the wife was collecting a combined benefit of 700 plus the 400 spousal and wanted to know if she could keep her benefit instead of survivor .

i started to think about whether that combined total stays her amount if she does not file for survivor or whether the spousal dies too and it is only your own portion you get to take if you don't take survivor .

i assumed everything relating to spousal portions dies when that spouse died . i just could not find anything on exactly that . i did see where totally filing 100% for spousal where you have no work history dies but i couldn't see anything on a combined case of both
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Old 12-24-2017, 11:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Yarnstormer View Post
Iím not sure what you are asking but I know that you canít defer a spousal benefit and have it increase until age 70 unless the spouse that passed had already reached age 70 and not claimed the benefit. For example, I plan to claim widow benefit at 60, and defer my benefit on my earnings until age 70 because that will increase it.
I'm also planning to take the widow benefit at 60 (DH was 55 when he died)--my benefit will be larger than the widow benefit when I reach 63ish, so then I'll just kind of see how things are shaking out as to when to switch.

But I'm only 51 now, so this is all theoretical.
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Old 12-25-2017, 01:30 AM   #19
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I do not think that her benefit could ever be higher than survivor...


In you example... $700 benefit... +$400 to get to $1100 which represents 50% of yours which is $2200...

It would take more than 15 years of growth for the $700 benefit to exceed $2200 growing at 8%... you cannot get 15 years of growth...


As mentioned, once you die she can keep getting her $700 or your $2200... seems like an easy choice to me...
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Old 12-25-2017, 04:55 AM   #20
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This thread reminds me I need to add: "Cancel Amazon auto-purchase order" to my post-life instructions.
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