Widows and widowers may not be receiving all the information needed to receive full benefits from Social Security.
The Social Security office may not be adequately informing widows and widowers of all the information they need to choose the options that give them their full benefits, according to the Financial Advisor in "Social Security Underpaying Widowed Spouses, Report Finds."
The Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General has determined that widows and widowers are not being informed that they can take survivor benefits, while still delaying their own benefits until they reach the age of 70. This has resulted in underpayments of millions of dollars a year.
People can choose when to start taking the benefits and the Social Security Administration is required to make sure they know their options, so the decision can be an informed one.
It is not always a good idea to rely on the Social Security Administration's information about when you need to start taking benefits to get the most out of them.
If you have any questions and suspect you need advice, an elder law attorney can help.
Reference: Financial Advisor (Feb. 16, 2018) "Social Security Underpaying Widowed Spouses, Report Finds."