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Survivors benefit affect my own Social Security benefit?

As the title implies, I started receiving a survival benefit on my wife's record when I was 60 years old.  I am fairly clear that I can switch over to my own benefit any time after age 62.  I am currently 67 and plan to wait for age 70.  My question is: If I am receiving a reduced survivors benefit, will that affect my Social Security benefit and amount?  BTW, yes, I have been all over the web looking for a concise answer to that question.  Many thanks in advance!

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Honored Social Butterfly

Survivors Benefits and your own work record retirement benefits are completely different because they are based on the work record of (2) different people.

One is deceased and the other alive.


You are understanding the program in this regards completely correct.

You can continue to draw your Survivors benefit until you file for your own benefit - 

If you decide to switch to your own benefits, it works just like normal - that is to say:

  • at less than your FRA, there would be a reduction in your retirement benefit amount
  • at FRA you would get 100% of your retirement benefit
  • If you wait until 70 to file for your own benefits, your own retirement benefit will grow at an 8% per annum rate from FRA to 70.  After 70, there is no more growing of your retirement benefit. - If You Are A Survivor

Look down the page to the heading “A few other situations” where it says:


  • If you are also eligible for retirement benefits, but haven't applied yet, you have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit later.

Understand that when different benefits are filed for - you will get the higher benefit.  Sometimes this is a blend of different benefits in name only but the total amount will be the higher one.


It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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