I may have missing details and information because it can be difficult to attain clear answers from my mom.
My parents were married for over 25 years. My Dad's ss benefit is much higher than my mom's. Mom refused to apply under his benefit. However she states she has been getting 25 dollars from my father account "since the beginning". She has been retired for about 10 years.
Because of financial difficulty she talked with the SS benefits office to discuss getting benefits under my father's account. She was told she would not receive additional benefits because of this 25 dollar a month payment which she says has been coming from my father's benefit.
This is confusing to me because there is likely information that she is missing or confused about too.
If anyone has enough knowledge to provide any insight that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. I asked mom to call the SS administration to clarify on Monday.
Social Security as only a few actual benefits and they all have names.
A person who has worked long enough and paid into the system gets either an old age benefit on their own record or disability benefits if the are younger than full retirement age, again, their own benefit.
Then there are others who can draw a portion or all of another person's benefit - some while they are alive, another when they die. The applicable family member has to qualify for each of these benefits in a slightly different way depending upon their circumstances. If they also have their own earned benefits this should be taken into consideration for the highest benefit to them.
There is the
divorced spousal benefit
This is when the spouse or divorced spouse (after 10 years of marriage)receives a portion of the other spouses benefit - 50% of the benefit
Widower or Widow benefit or divorced widow /widower benefit
After the death of the primary beneficiary, filing for one of these may give you the benefit or some portion of it - the amount would never be higher than what the deceased beneficiary would have received if they lived.
Sometimes if if both are already receiving benefits they will just UP the servicing spouses benefit to the amount of the deceased beneficiary.
The amount of everybody's benefit are calculated based on the primary beneficiaries work record and the amount of the earned income they earned through their entire work history - usually about 30 - 35 years.
i don't recall any flat benefit like $ 25. You or you and your Mom need to figure out what type of benefit or benefits she is getting. Doe she receive the benefits under her own Social Security number or that of your father? Is your father living or dead. Are they still married. How old is your mom?
Details are important - yes, registering for her own account as cat0w said on mySocialSecurity.gov should reveal a letter of benefits stating what she is getting and how. https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/