Dear Rusty: When my father passed away and we went to update my mother’s Social Security benefits, a question arose that I was confused by. We were asked “Do you want to claim just your father’s benefit (which was larger) or claim my mother’s benefit and the difference between the two?” Either way it would come to the same amount. Is there a reason to claim one way over the other? Perhaps a caveat that we are unaware of? Is there a loophole that we are missing that may potentially benefit the survivor? We are soon to face this question again as my father-in-law is very ill. Signed: Curious
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