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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 35406
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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Was there a ruling in May 2013 that says a widow receiving

Customer Question

Was there a ruling in May 2013 that says a widow receiving her husband's benefits would only receive 82 1/2% of his benefit if he received benefits before he died in 2010? He received one month of benefits in 2010 as early retirement. Social Security is telling me I will not receive any increase in benefits from 2013 except for cost of living. I had planned to take benefits when I was 70 years old in 5 years when I quit work.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Good afternoon Janet,

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

If the surviving spouse is at least 66 when they first apply for a survivor benefit (widow benefit) then the survivor benefit is equal to 100% of the benefit that the other spouse was either receiving or eligible to receive as of the date of their death. There was no change in the law in May setting what a widow would receive.

However, if you were less than 66 when you first applied for the survivor benefit, you would get something less than 100% because you applied early. A survivor benefit does not increase in value after your age 66 for any reason, and so you should always take a survivor benefit at 66, even if you are still working---as that will allow your own benefit to continue to grow over time until you reach age 70.

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.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might best suit your needs. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread which is searchable and viewable by the public.

If I have already provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

Is there anything else that I can assist you with this afternoon?

Doug

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
You are aware it is my husband's benefit, not mine. Also, now that they told me that and signed me, is there any way to change it?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Yes, I am aware that a survivor benefit is based on the work record of the deceased spouse.

What have they signed you up for and what is it that you want to change?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have it handled. It is a good thing I did not wait until I was 66 because he received early retirement and that put me at the same amount as him (82 1/2 %). If I was getting my benefits at 66, it would have worked if he had never taken his benefits. Hard to figure all this out but I have the answer now.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Good evening Janet,

If I have already provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They signed me up for his benefits but he had taken early retirement which buts me at 82 1/2 %
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Good evening Janet,

You wrote: They signed me up for his benefits but he had taken early retirement which buts me at 82 1/2 %.

Alright, I understood that. If he took an early retirement, then that limited what you could receive as a survivor benefit. If because he retired early, then of course he received a less than full retirement age (66) benefit. If you are 66 or older before you apply for a survivor benefit, you will, as I mentioned, still be eligible to receive a survivor benefit equal to 100% of the benefit that the other he was either receiving or eligible to receive as of the date of his death. There is no way to obtain a survivor benefit of 100% based on what he might have received had he waited to full retirement age to apply for his social security retirement benefits.

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 your future,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 months ago.

Good evening Janet,

Are there any other issues or questions which I can assist you with this evening?

Doug