Q&A: Social Security survivor benefits

Dear Liz: I am trying to understand the Social Security survivor benefit. I delayed starting to receive my benefits until I reached age 70. My wife just started receiving benefits at 66 and 10 months. Upon my passing, will she receive my benefit at full retirement age, plus the 8% annual delayed retirement credit plus the annual cost of living increases?

Answer: Assuming your benefit is larger than hers, then yes — her survivor benefit would be the amount you were getting at your death. The survivor gets the larger of the two checks a couple was receiving, and the other benefit goes away.