Survivor annuity and Social Security


Q. My deceased husband retired from civil service by disability and received monthly payments until his death. During his working years, he paid for my spousal annuity benefit. I now receive my own Social Security account.

The problem is, there is a deceased ex-wife listed ahead of me on record. In the chance I’m able to prove her deceased status, will I qualify to receive both my Social Security and spousal annuity?

A. Nothing can prevent you from receiving your earned Social Security benefit. As for the survivor annuity, you need to call the Office of Personnel Management at 1-888-767-6738 and report your late husband’s death. OPM may have already learned of his ex-wife’s death. If not, they can tell you what needs to be done to establish that. If she is dead, you’d be entitled to the survivor annuity based on your late husband’s record.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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