I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
The answer is a bit complicated. Yes, you as a retired teacher with a pension would still be eligible to make a survivor claim with social security based on your deceased husband's lifetime earnings. However, your survivor benefit is subject to offset if you are also receiving a pension based on earnings that you did not pay social security taxes on while you were employed. This is because of the effect of the Government Pension Offset
. Let me explain:
If you receive a pension from an employer (usually a government employer or teacher's union) who did not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, your Social Security spousal, ex-spousal, or survivor's benefits may be reduced or eliminated by the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
The GPO provision reduces your spousal, ex-spousal, or survivor's benefits by $2 for every $3 of non-SS pension benefit.
So, what this means is that, for example, if your husband's retirement benefit is $2000 per month and therefore your survivor benefit would also be $2000 per month, and your teacher pension is $1,500 per month, social security would deduct $1,000 from your survivor benefit ($2 for each $3 you get as a pension) and pay you a survivor benefit of $1000. You would still receive your teacher pension of $1500 for a total payment of $2500 per month between your pension and survivor benefit.
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