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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 36083
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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My wife is drawing benefits from her deceased spouse. Can

Customer Question

My wife is drawing benefits from her deceased spouse. Can she draw from me and get additional funds.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While it is technically possible for your wife to switch from a survivor benefit based on her deceased former spouse to a spouse benefit based on your earnings, in most instances doing so will not result in more money to her. Let me explain.

Your wife's survivor benefit pays 100% of the benefit that her former spouse was receiving, or eligible for, at the time of his death. But a spouse retirement benefit is capped at just 50% of the amount of money you were eligible for at your full retirement age.

So unless you are still earning at least 200% more in monthly benefits that she is receiving, then she would not benefit by switching to a spouse benefit at this time.

If you predecease your wife, then she will be eligible for a survivor benefit based on your earnings and that should be higher than what she is presently collecting and so she would want to switch benefits in the event you predecease her. But probably not until then.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug