My ex-spouse recently died. Can I switch from ex-spousal benefits to survivor benefits based on his record?

Published: March 13, 2023

Full question: I received my ex-husbands social security until mine was more than what I was entitled to with his. He died a few months ago and my disabled adult child got an increase in her social security. Am I allowed to collect survivor benefits since she lives with me and I take care of her. She is 49 and I am 73.


The previous benefit you were collecting was an ex-spousal benefit, which is only up to 50% of your ex-husbands full benefit, PIA – Primary Insurance Amount.

It is possible that the ex-spousal survivor benefit you are entitled to now is larger than your own retirement benefit since it can be up to 100% of what your deceased ex-spouse was collecting.

Please email us at if you would like an analysis to determine the exact amount you should expect to receive.

Take care,

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