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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16576
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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I have the book: Get What's Yours. I am wondering if I'm

Customer Question

I have the book: Get What's Yours. I am wondering if I'm receiving all I should from SS and how to find out if I am or can receive more. I'm hearing there is a difference between receiving just the widow's pension and receiving spousal pension. How should I look into this and who can I believe. Also,I heard that the SS Website states you can receive your SS in one lump sum. How would that be possible? And why does the gov't take away the living spouce's SS. That is stealing.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Megan C replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your questions, and they are good questions.

1) Typically you would automatically get the largest benefit available to you. This is either your benefit, or a widow benefit, or 1/2 of your living spouse or ex-spouse's benefit. You could go to social security (make an appointment first) and request them to go over all your particular options to verify, but normally once you are already drawing there's no way to really increase your benefit.

2) The lump sum election happens when you file an application, then immediately suspend your benefit and go on living your life. If something happens you could ask for those benefits retroactively to the date you filed, at the reduced rate. It was sort of a free "insurance policy" if you would call it that. This will no longer be possible after May 1.

3) I've often wondered this myself, but unfortunately they have always set up social security so each person is only getting one benefit. I wish it were not that way, but unfortunately we don't make the rules -- politicians do.

Please let me know if you need anything additional. If not, please rate positive.