General Question

Adina1968's avatar

When a spouse dies does the surving spouse continue to receive their social security checks?

Asked by Adina1968 (2747points) September 16th, 2008
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11 Answers

marissa's avatar

My understanding is that the surving spouse still receives social security checks for themselves, but that they don’t receive the amount that was allotted for the deceased spouse, but I see that syz says yes, so I will have to read the link provided.

From link:

“However, if the surviving spouse is also entitled to receive benefits, he or she will receive only the larger of the two amounts. The survivor will not receive both the worker’s benefit and his or her own benefit.”

“In addition to the retire­ment benefits that a worker can receive, the worker’s spouse can also receive a benefit in some circumstances. Almost all spouses who qualify for the full benefit come from single-earner families in which one spouse was employed and the other stayed at home to care for the family. The spousal benefit is equal to 50 percent of the employed spouse’s benefit, which means that such families could receive a total Social Security income of 150 percent of the working spouse’s benefit while both are still alive.

I guess it depends on each individual situation. In the second senario I think the amount decreases to 100 percent or less after one of the spouses die.

basp's avatar

Another thing to note, the deceased will have to return the part of the social security check that is “over” the amount of time spent living. In othercwords, if a person dies on the tenth of the month, the balance of the social security check (twenty or twenty one days) will be prorated out and then must be returned.

marissa's avatar

@basp, I forgot to mention that, that is a very important point, because I have known people that thought as long as the government kept sending the checks, they could keep cashing them and keep the money and it was a financial hardship when they had to pay back the money…lurve to you! :0)

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

when my grandfather died my grandmother stopped recieving her amount but continued to recieve his as it was the larger of the two. She also gets some for raisng her 16 yr old granddaughter

Seesul's avatar

Yes, as stated above. My mother was employed before the law came into being, but received it from my dad’s share after he passed away. She lived another 8 3/4 years.

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

my gram has been surviving for the last 2 1/2 yrs and seems to be hangingin for the long haul

jrpowell's avatar

I’m looking at a check right now. It clearly states on the envelope (big check box) “IF THE RECIPIENT DECEASED Check here and drop in mailbox”

But you will become eligible for survivors benefits.

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

i think that is what my gram technically gets…but she says the total is like they stopped hers and jt put her name on his

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