Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Obscure Question

I cannot figure this out from the Social Security website.

Mr. A collects Social Security income of X.  Mrs. A collects SS income of Y.  Mr. A passes.  It appears that Mrs. A gets somewhere between 71.5% and 100% of Mr. A's check of $X.  Because X is > than Y, she does not get Y anymore.

Do I have that right?


  1. That's exactly the way it worked for my parents.

  2. Basically, Yes. The surviving spouse will get, in total, the greater of what they are entitled to based on their own record OR what they are entitled to as a surviving spouse. They do not get both.
    The way Social Security explains it is that they get their own entitlement plus, if applicable, an additional amount to bring them up to the the amount they'd be entitled to as a surviving spouse.

  3. That’s what it says in Social Security for Dummies, which I currently have on loan from the library. If both Mr. and Mrs. A were already collecting, then the survivor gets the larger of the two benefits. Didn’t see anything in that section about 71.5%, tho.


    A widow or widower who has reached their own full retirement age can receive 100% of the deceased's benefit.
    A widow or widower who is between age 60 and full retirement age can receive 71.5% to 99% of that benefit.
    A disabled widow or widower, age 50 through 59, can receive 71.5%.
    A widow or widower of any age who's caring for a child under age 16 can receive 75%.