Good afternoon Celeste,
I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
Presuming that your husband earned more income while paying social security taxes during his life than you did, then you would want to apply for a survivor benefit as opposed to your own social security benefit. Your survivor benefit will pay you the same amount of benefit that your husband was receiving, or was eligible to receive at the time of his passing.
However, your federal pension will effect the amount of social security benefits that you receive---you are a CSRS offset employee. Let me explain.
If you will be receiving an annuity/pension payment from a retirement system where you did not pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The WEP will reduce your Social Security benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of “substantial earnings” under Social Security. Substantial earnings are greater than those required to earn Social Security credits. To see what substantial earnings are by year see this link:
This is a very complex area of Social Security law, and therefore, I will point you to this excellent primer on the WEP:
Generally, if a person qualified for their non-social security pension after December 1, 1982, and they worked less than 20 years in a job where they paid social security taxes, then up to 1/2 of their non-social security pension benefit would be applied (deducted) against any expected Social Security benefit.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,