Social Security Help

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gpburdell
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:01 pm

Social Security Help

Post by gpburdell »

My dad passed away 3 weeks ago and looking for some advice for my mom in regards to social security. I've been managing their investments for 10+ years, but never paid attention to their social security. I don't know much myself about SS being in my 40s.

Dad was 84, mom is 80 and they both started taking social security at their full retirement age I believe.

Dad has been getting $2096 and mom $665 every month. Mom worked part time and her payment is based on her earnings.

A couple questions:
1) After doing some reading, I realized my mom could have been receiving 50% of my dad's payment all these years. Is it possible to get that difference for those years?

2) She's trying to apply for survivor benefits now; when she calls the SSA main number she is placed on hold for a long time then the call just hangs up. One time we got through but the person couldn't hear us. So she tried the local SSA office and was able to schedule a phone appointment but it's not till December. The person said that payments could be made retroactive to my dad's death.

Is that true? Just want to make sure she doesn't lose out on two months of payments.

3) Last question, are survivor benefits eligible for COLA increases? I just read about the upcoming 5.9% increase.

Thanks
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David Jay
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Re: Social Security Help

Post by David Jay »

gpburdell wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:54 pm3) Last question, are survivor benefits eligible for COLA increases? I just read about the upcoming 5.9% increase.
Yes, survivor benefits receive COLA. She will receive your father's 2021 benefit, then a 5.9% increase beginning in January (presumably $2219, subject to full dollar rounding).
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Kenkat
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Re: Social Security Help

Post by Kenkat »

1) After doing some reading, I realized my mom could have been receiving 50% of my dad's payment all these years. Is it possible to get that difference for those years?
Social security will pay 6 months of benefits retroactively. You could try to apply for spousal benefits online. A spousal benefit will automatically convert to a survivor benefit; however, I am not sure how or if this would work given that your father has already passed. It is unfortunate that your mom did not apply for spousal benefits at her full retirement age.
delamer
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Re: Social Security Help

Post by delamer »

I’m sorry about your father.

Certainly bring up the spousal benefit issue when she visits the Social Security office.

That said, if your mother claimed at 62, it’s possible that her spousal benefit amount was correct. My guess is that a lot of couples apply at the same time (so maybe your dad was 66 and your mother 62).

Read this: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html
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JoeRetire
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Re: Social Security Help

Post by JoeRetire »

gpburdell wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:54 pm My dad passed away 3 weeks ago and looking for some advice for my mom in regards to social security.
Sorry for your loss.
I've been managing their investments for 10+ years, but never paid attention to their social security. I don't know much myself about SS being in my 40s.

Dad was 84, mom is 80 and they both started taking social security at their full retirement age I believe. Dad has been getting $2096 and mom $665 every month. Mom worked part time and her payment is based on her earnings.
If she actually did apply at her FRA, it looks like Mom should have been earning more by collecting Spousal benefits, but never applied for them. That's unfortunate.
1) After doing some reading, I realized my mom could have been receiving 50% of my dad's payment all these years. Is it possible to get that difference for those years?
No. That's over and done. Only Survivor benefits remain.
2) She's trying to apply for survivor benefits now; when she calls the SSA main number she is placed on hold for a long time then the call just hangs up. One time we got through but the person couldn't hear us. So she tried the local SSA office and was able to schedule a phone appointment but it's not till December. The person said that payments could be made retroactive to my dad's death.

Is that true?
Yes, that's true.
3) Last question, are survivor benefits eligible for COLA increases? I just read about the upcoming 5.9% increase.
Yes. All benefits always receive COLA increases automatically.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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