Your Questions Answered
Martha Shedden is RSSA’s President and Co-Founder. Read Martha’s responses to questions regarding Social Security. View all questions or browse by category. Submit your own question to Martha here.
My spouse has no earnings history. In the event of my death, will their spousal benefit switch to a higher survivor benefit?
Full question: If my spouse who has no earning history, applies (on my earnings) for reduced spousal benefits now and withdraws and if some thing happens to me before her FRA. The benefits be auto converted to survivor benefits, will benefit be ‘Recalculated’ at that time based on survivor benefits at higher level or will…Read More
Will the SSA retroactively pay me my missed survivor benefits?
Full question: I discovered recently that my husband passed away in 2012. We were still married but not together. Am I still entitled to receive survivor benefits and how far back will they pay? Hi there, Yes, you are still entitled to survivor benefits if you are still legally married. The SSA pays up to…Read More
Can I switch from survivor benefits to my own retirement benefits?
Full question: Can I collect survivor benefits from deceased ex-husband from age 60 until my FRA which is 67, and want to be sure that I can switch over as long as my own retirement benefits are higher. Is this true? Hi there, Yes, that is true. Survivor benefits may be collected as young as…Read More
Will divorce affect my ex-spousal or child-in-care benefits?
Full question: I am 61, and my husband and I have been separated for years. We have a disabled adult daughter, who lives with me. She currently receives the DAC benefit and I receive the spousal child in care benefit. We are going to finally divorce, does the child in care benefit stop, since I…Read More
Can I switch benefits at a local SSA office or over the phone?
Full question: I am currently receiving spousal benefits and my wife is receiving full benefits. I turn 70 in November and want to switch to my full benefits. Do I need to go to a Social Security Office or can this switch be done over the phone with SSA? Hello, You can do either. Make…Read More
Can the SSA help me calculate benefits over the phone?
Full question: I want my SS benefit to start in January of 2024. I contacted SSA and they scheduled phone appointment for September of 2023. I need my benefit amount to be calculated as of January (any day) of 2024. Should I keep the appointment, will the September application date impact the amount? Hi there,…Read More