How far back I can claim a deceased spouse social security benefits?

My grandmother never climbed her deceased spouse’s benefits (19 years). Is it still possible for her to clime the benefits? Thank you. 

8 Answers

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Claiming now will result in a difference in the average indexed monthly earnings that her benefit is based on.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    The only benefit is if his SS was larger than hers. She gets the larger of the two.

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  • Shay
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Call your local social security office and explain the situation.  Make an appointment to discuss what your grandmother may be qualified for.

    Take your grandmother, take documents proving their marriage, his death, and his social security number to the appointment.  Take any proof of what social security benefits your grandmother might already be getting.

    Depending on your grandmother's age and the age she was when he died, she might still be qualified to claim his benefits.  She would not get 19 years of back pay but she could get a monthly benefit going forward.  (a person who is 45 when their spouse dies is not qualified to claim their benefits unless they are disabled or caring for young children - they can't claim the benefit until they are also old enough to claim social security - so 19 years is not always a determining factor in qualifying for survivor benefits.  If your grandmother is 85 years old and never changed how she claimed, then it might be too late.  Hope that makes sense.)

    If the amount of social security she is getting is more than the survivor benefit she would get from his social security, then she would continue to draw her own benefits.  If the survivor benefit she would get from drawing his benefit is more, then she could get his benefits.  She can't have both.

    https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou.html

    Read the article - especially the bottom portion about widow or widower.  

    • DeathEgg944 weeks agoReport

      She’s 76 years old. Should we consider seeing a lawyer? Thank you

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  • NA
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    The SSA typically limits back payments to no more than 12 months.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    She can still file to claim a benefit based on his work record, but she probably hasn't because claiming her own benefit has given her more. You cannot collect both.

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  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    you need to ask social security about this

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Not possible.       

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  • Susie
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Call the SS number.  Is she getting her own benefits??  It may be more than she’d get from her spouse. All you can do is ask.  There’s also a one time death benefit, I think it’s $255.  

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