social security benefits from deceased spouse?

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gumbico
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:31 am

social security benefits from deceased spouse?

Post by gumbico » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:29 am

Hi all, been digging around online trying to get a better understanding of how social security works. My mother passed away 2 years ago at 60. She was not collecting anything from SS at the time. My father is already 67 but it still working. What are the general details in a situation like this regarding SS benefits?

-Is he allowed to collect benefits from his spouse's SS plan while he's working?
-When he retires, will he be able to collect from his own and his spouse's plan?
-Or is he only allowed to collect from his own once he retires?

Thanks for any guidance on this.

mhalley
Posts: 5206
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: social security benefits from deceased spouse?

Post by mhalley » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:11 am

1. Yes, but it might be taxed if he makes more than a certain amount. This of course assumes the wife was fully insured, i.e. Had 10 years of ss wages. As he is above fra, there is no reduction in benefits due to working.
2. He can get survivors of his own benefit, whichever is greater.
Probably the best thing to do is for him to apply for survivors benefits now, and let his ss grow and take his at age 70 unless his wife made a lot more than him in life.

"If you file a federal tax return as an "individual" and your combined income* is
between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits.
more than $34,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable."

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/taxes.html
https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10084.pdf

JGoneRiding
Posts: 989
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: social security benefits from deceased spouse?

Post by JGoneRiding » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:19 am

Yes he can apply for survivors benefits right now and since he is already over retirement age I don't think there is any penalty for him working so should do that asap. Then his benefit can grow until age 70 (assuming his is higher seems likely)

Ruger
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:44 pm

Re: social security benefits from deceased spouse?

Post by Ruger » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:23 am

I was in this position. I opted to take survivor's benefits and to let mine grow until I reach age 70, at which time I will switch to mine.
You cannot take both benefits at once, you have to choose which ever is the greater amount.
He may have to pay taxes on the social security, depending on what his income is.

delamer
Posts: 3246
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: social security benefits from deceased spouse?

Post by delamer » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:30 am

The first thing to find out is which parent will have the higher benefit. I believe the earlier responses assume it will be your father.

gumbico
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:31 am

Re: social security benefits from deceased spouse?

Post by gumbico » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:38 am

Thanks all! This has been very helpful, much appreciated! I'll start digging into the survivor's benefit stuff now.

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