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Q&A: Will my SS Benefits Decrease or Stay the Same after May 1, 2016?

Social Security

Question and background:

Will my Social Security benefits decrease or stay the same after May 1, 2016? I am a 73 year old male. I started receiving my SS benefits at the proper age of 66 years. My wife passed away on November 2, 2014. Is it possible to get extra SS benefits before the new law is enforced?

Answer:

I’m very sorry about the loss of your wife. It’s never easy dealing with the loss of a loved one, especially one’s mate.

The new Social Security rules won’t have any impact on your benefits or what you’re eligible for. When a married couple are both collecting Social Security benefits, a surviving spouse can continue receiving the higher of the two benefits, but not both. Typically, when a spouse’s death is reported to Social Security, the SSA will review which of the two benefits is larger and automatically pay that to the surviving spouse.

So assuming that your wife’s passing was reported to Social Security, if her benefit was larger than yours then the SSA should have already made that adjustment. If you had the larger benefit, then there is no increase.

I hope that helps. Wishing you comfort and healing as you remember your wife.