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Survivor Benefits

In your question on


"True or False: Survivor benefits increase if you wait past full retirement age to file.".

You should  precise  who is "you" : ( the Survivor or the spouse who passed away )

"Survivor benefits increase if  you ( the survivor) wait past full retirement age to file".


"Your  benefits as a Survivor increase if  you wait past full retirement age to file".

Because if "you" is the spouse who passed away and he delayed receiving his benefits after FRA, the survivor will receive 100% of what the spouse received at the date of his death ( which includes the 8% per year increase until age 70). In this case the correct answer would be "True".

But since "you" is the survivor, the answer, as you say,  is "False"

Am I correct ?

Sincerely, Philippe

Social Butterfly

I think I saw the same trivia challenge on the AARP site. One of the questions struck me as ambiguous. I don't remember the particulars but I thought to myself "what are they talking about, that's not clear, it could go either way." Probably that same question you're referring to.


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Bronze Conversationalist

@philipped263044 I can't tell if you are responding to another posting or a quiz question. As I read the True or False sentence, the subject is Survivor Benefits not Old Age (retirement) Worker Benefits. So, the word, "you", is the survivor not the worker. The answer is False if the survivor has already attained their FRA. Once a survivor attains their FRA, survivor benefits are 100% of the deceased worker's basic benefit. The SS program does not provide delayed credits for a survivor. Although a survivor who has already attained their FRA (or older) may elect  to delay their benefits for whatever reason, it would not increase their amount of survivor benefits. As you know, people die at various ages and folks become eligible for survivor benefits at various ages. I suspect that many survivors become eligible well after attaining their FRA. For example, the worker dies at age 78 and the survivor is age 74. Moreover, a survivor age  60 or older, but less than their FRA will receive 71.5% to 99% of the worker's benefit. The percentage depends on the survivor's age when they file. If they file at FRA or later, the survivor benefit increases to 100%. Once again, if that survivor elects to delay past their FRA for whatever reason, the amount of survivor's benefit does not increase beyond 100% of the worker's benefit. With regard to your sentence addressing a worker who delayed SS benefits to age 70, that worker's survivor, if any, would not receive 100% of that worker's benefit if the survivor files before attaining FRA. For example, worker age 72 dies and the survivor is age 62

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Honored Social Butterfly

I have often found some of the descriptive terms in the Social Security program often get real confusing.

Who Am I ?   Whose Benefit?   The Beneficiary, The Spouse, The Survivor (and the last two both begin with "S")

Then within the program - SSDI vs SSI - Try explaining those to somebody that did work for awhile but not long enough -

Early Retirement vs Full Retirement Age vs Normal Retirement Age vs Delayed Retirement Credits


Didn't see the Quiz so can't help you in deciphering it.  But WHO died???  😀

Can no longer use "him" or "her" either - 


It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Social Butterfly

@GailL1 , your post reminds me of years ago I was working on understanding possible widow's benefits for my wife. She might transition eventually from spousal benefits to widow's benefits (right now she's on neither). I was asking questions about this in another forum and one guy reprimanded me, "a spouse is not a survivor, a widow is not a spouse". I was annoyed (lol) but it really is true in the land of the SSA rules and nomenclature.

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