Understanding the Difference Between SSA Survivor Benefits and Widow Benefits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns of an increasing threat of impersonation scams targeting older individuals, particularly in South Carolina.

SSA Survivor Benefits and Widow Benefits: Social Security is a frequently discussed subject among members of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). The distinction between survivor benefits and spousal benefits is a frequently asked query.

Spouses or ex-spouses of deceased workers receive up to 50% of their monthly retirement or disability payment. After a Social Security beneficiary dies, their spouses or ex-spouses receive survivor benefits.

Spousal benefits require a spouse to be 62, have a child under 16, or get disability payments. Retirement or disability benefits are required for the deceased worker to receive payments.

Unmarried ex-spouses can qualify at age 62 if their marriage lasts ten years. If the divorce occurred more than two years ago, the ex-spouse can collect benefits even if the retired worker has not. Current spouses’ benefits are unaffected by ex-spouses’ benefits.

Retired spouses may receive half their main insurance amount (PIA). If spousal benefits are claimed at 62, the retired worker’s PIA lowers to 32.5%. Each year the spouse delays claiming increases the compensation by 50% at full retirement age. Beyond full retirement, nothing is gained.

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An explanation of the survivor benefits

Survivor benefits are distributed to the spouses and eligible dependents of deceased laborers eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.

The benefit amount is determined by the amount that the deceased individual was eligible to receive at full retirement age. Widows or widowers are eligible to claim benefits at the age of 60; however, the amount is reduced if the claim is made prior to the survivor’s complete retirement age.

The survivor is entitled to 100% of the benefit if the deceased worker claimed it at full retirement age. The survivor’s benefits are diminished by the deceased’s initial claims.

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