I know this sounds mercenary, but I am trying to determine if I will have enough to live on after my DH passes. He has a $20,000. life insurance policy. But from what I have been told, funeral expenses will eat that amount up fast. All savings and assets have been used for his care. There is nothing left to provide for me.

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So many great answers. Thank you all so much. I am a little calmer now that I know what will happen.
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Reply to raspberryfarm

It depends, what is your full retirement age? You can find that here:

The is from SS website (

Your survivors benefit amount is based on the earnings of the person who died. The more they paid into Social Security, the higher your benefits would be.
The monthly amount you would get is a percentage of the deceased's basic Social Security benefit. It depends on your age and the type of benefit you are eligible to receive.
If the person who died was receiving reduced benefits, we base your survivors benefit on that amount.
These are examples of the benefits that survivors may receive:
Widow or widower, full retirement age or older — 100 percent of the deceased worker's benefit amount;
Widow or widower, age 60 — full retirement age — 71½ to 99 percent of the deceased worker's basic amount;
Disabled widow or widower aged 50 through 59 — 71½ percent;
Widow or widower, any age, caring for a child under age 16 — 75 percent;
A child under age 18 (19 if still in elementary or secondary school) or disabled — 75 percent; and
Dependent parent(s) of the deceased worker, age 62 or older:
One surviving parent — 82½ percent.
Two surviving parents — 75 percent to each parent.
Percentages for a surviving divorced spouse would be the same as above.
There may also be a special lump-sum death benefit.
Maximum Family Amount
There's a limit to the amount that family members can receive each month. The limit varies, but it is generally equal to between 150 and 180 percent of the basic benefit rate.
If the sum of the benefits payable to family members is greater than this limit, the benefits will be reduced proportionately. (Any benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse based on disability or age won't count toward this maximum amount.)
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Reply to tacy022

Re: funeral, I agree to keep it as simple as inexpensive as possible. For myself, I want my loved ones to do exactly that. I want cremation, no grave, no headstone, just a simple sprinkling of my ashes somewhere. Simple, "green", not unnecessarily (IMHO) taking up coveted space in a cemetery, etc.
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Reply to againx100

You can always go to the SS website or go in person and see exactly what you may receive.

Really, I think its good that you r looking ahead. Some people don't and are surprised when things don't stay the same. One poster was mad because her LOs SS stopped and she had bills to pay. The SS you receive in January is actually Decembers money. So if a LO dies in January, you shouldn't get a February check. F you do, they probably wil, take it back.

You may want to do what isthis did and find a Seminar explaining SS. Call your local Office of Aging to see if they are aware of any. One of our local ALs offers seminars to residents, families and professional. I used to go with my nurses and I was the secretary.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Thanks to everyone for your informative answers. At least now I know where I stand. (in a very deep hole!)
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Reply to raspberryfarm

I am so sorry! My understanding about SS is exactly what Joann and isthisreallyreal said.

There is no need to spend $20,000 on a funeral. Especially if that’s all the money you have. And do not feel obligated to buy a casket from the mortuary and the headstone from the cemetery. If your husband is to be buried then shop around. You can buy caskets at Costco and orher websites for less than a mortuary charges. Headstones can be purchased online for a lot less than the cemeteries charge too—a simply bronze headstone at the cemetery MIL is buried at costs $2300. We ordered one through a company online for $1200. Funerals are more for the living than they are for the dead. It is a wonderful way to honor your loved one but they don’t have to be extravagant. Where i’m at, a cremation and burial is roughly the same price as a standard burial. Your local mortuaries may even publish their price lists on their website. The ones here do.
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Reply to worriedinCali

If you have spent all of your money on his care, please do not have a big expensive funeral. Cremation and scattering his ashes or keeping them in a urn is completely acceptable.

I just did a seminar on SS, it was explained that you can apply for your spouses SS but you only get 1/2 of what he gets. If yours is greater than 1/2 of his you will keep yours.

Age taken is also considered, if he waited until age 72 and you started collecting yours at 62 that will effect the amount you receive.

Laws have changed and what was is no longer the same.

You will get 30 different opinions of how it works so if I can recommend making an appointment with SSA and take both of your paperwork that you get every year telling you what you will get next year. They can explain what your options are, you have several routes and they will help you figure out what would be the best option for you. Some things can be done once and that's that, so you really want to talk to an authorized representative to help you understand.

I am sorry that you are facing this on top of loosing your husband. Hugs!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
againx100 Jan 23, 2019
I think you are telling her what happens when you are first applying for SS. I think she wants to know what happens if hubby passes away. Then, as someone else stated, she will get one check for whichever amount is greater (his or hers, probably his). That's how it went for my mom when dad passed a couple of years ago. Hers was less, so she started getting his amount.
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This is a simple explanation that a SS rep gave me.

In my situation I get 800 my husband gets 1600. If he goes before me I will get his 1600 and my 800 drops off. There is a formula but thats pretty much it.

You can have funerals as cheap as possible. Cremation being the cheapest. One viewing right before services. I told my girls I want no funeral. Graveside service is enough. Then go to lunch.
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Reply to JoAnn29

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