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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2758
Experience:  associate attorney
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It seems that my benefits were reduced. After my wife died.

Customer Question

It seems that my benefits were reduced. After my wife died. She died 1-7-1915. herSSA###-##-#### I expected my benefit to increase
JA: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.
Customer: the SSA mailing I received a few days ago mentioned life changes such as the death of a spouse might increase my benefit. My benefit was reduced.Is this correct.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Retirement Accountant should know?
Customer: No
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 13 days ago.

My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. Thank you for your question and for using justanswer.com. Give me a bit and I will draft you an answer.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 13 days ago.

I am not sure why your benefits would be reduced although COLA was not given in 2016 (cost of living increase). It was given for 2017. Medicare part B costs could be the reason but your spouses death should have no effect on your benefit unless you want to apply for a survivor benefit AND her benefit is more than your own retirement benefit. The survivor benefit and your own SS retirement benefit do not stack. You can only receive the larger of the two benefits, so if her benefit is lower than your own, there would be no reason to apply for the survivor benefit. You have 2 years to apply for the one time $255 death benefit through SSA, so if you have not done so, you have until tomorrow to do it as it must be requested within 2 years. See link on how to apply (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou7.html). Life changes can increase your benefit but that is really a generic statement and does not apply to everyone.

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Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 12 days ago.

Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?

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