Can My Wife Receive My Social Security Disability Benefits if I Die?
The answer will depend on her age, whether she receives a pension, and whether you have paid into Social Security as a worker. If you have never worked, she cannot collect survivor benefits from your record. Survivor benefits are based on the social security taxes paid by a working spouse. You may get assistance for determining the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive by calling the SSA at the following number:
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If you receive a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your Social Security spouse’s or widow’s or widower’s benefits may be reduced.
Your Social Security benefits will be reduced by two-thirds of your government pension. In other words, if you get a monthly civil service pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be deducted from your Social Security benefits. For example, if you are eligible for a $500 spouse’s, widow’s or widower’s benefit from Social Security, you will receive $100 per month from Social Security ($500 – $400 = $100).
If you take your government pension annuity in a lump sum, Social Security still will calculate the reduction as if you chose to get monthly benefit payments from your government work.
The offset applies only to Social Security benefits as a spouse or widow or widower. However, your own benefits may be reduced because of another provision of the law. For example, if you work for an employer who does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as a government agency or an employer in another country, the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.
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