If you are eligible for more than one type of Social Security benefit -- such as retirement benefits based on your own work record, and also dependents or survivors benefits
based on your husband's work record -- you are permitted to collect whichever one is higher, but not both at the same time. Your dependents benefits, based on your husband's work record, would be about 50 percent of the amount of his Social Security retirement benefits. If that's higher than your retirement benefits, you can switch to dependents benefits and collect the higher amount. On the other hand, if your own retirement benefits are higher than 50 percent of his retirement benefits, you should keep collecting your own retirement benefits as long as your husband is alive.
If your monthly retirement benefits are close (either a little more or a little less) to half of your husband's Social Security retirement benefits, check with your local Social Security office to find out whether you would receive a little more money per month if you switched to dependents benefits based on your husband's work record. If so, the local office can prepare the paperwork for you.
If your husband dies before you do, you can switch from collecting your own retirement benefits to collecting Social Security survivors benefits based on your husband's work record. Survivors benefits are usually the same amount as the retirement benefits of the person who passed away. So, if your husband's current Social Security retirement benefits are higher than your retirement benefits, you can switch to the higher survivors benefits if he dies before you do. Again, your local Social Security office can make the switch for you if and when the time comes.