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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2982
Experience:  associate attorney
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I am currently on Social Security Survivors Benefits and have

Customer Question

I am currently on Social Security Survivors Benefits and have been since May 2015. My husband died on October 28, 2013. My birthdate is 3/29/54 making me 62 years old on March of this year. I was only entitled to a certain percentage of his benefits, under the Survivor Benefits, because I was only 60 years old when I applied for those benefits. Since I am now 62, do I qualify for a bigger percentage of his benefits and/or do I qualify as an early retiree to receive higher benefits under his earnings or my earnings? What step do I take from here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. No you are not eligible to increase your survivor benefit. Once you take the benefit at age 60, you are locked into that benefit for life and unfortunately that includes the early retirement penalty which decreased your benefit more than 30%. You do qualify to switch to your own benefits at age 62 (also subject to a 30% decrease because of early retirement) but that would probably be unwise. Understand that your survivor benefit and your own normal retirement benefit do not stack. You do not receive both benefits added together, only the higher of the two benefits. You have a fantastic planning opportunity as you can continue to receive your survivor benefit until mandatory retirement age (age 70.5). This will allow your normal retirement benefit to increase to its maximum amount. You will receive 8% credits for each year you delay your own benefit from ages 66-70, which will ultimately increase your benefit by 32%. At age 70 you can then choose between the two benefits and take the higher of the two. Unfortunately, you can not take both benefits at the same time. Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated for my time by the site.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further question?