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JAFO31 asks in #24829: Have I misunderstood?

Yes, I think you have misunderstood. The spousal benefit "tops up", given the examples I have seen at the SSA Web site. (And ShyCougar's example too.) But that strikes me as just an accounting peculiarity, since it has no effect on the benefit.

Now, suppose the husband dies. Will the wife collect the husband's $750, or her own $200 plus the $750 for $950. I'm pretty sure the answer is that she gets $750, but the accounting is that it's her own $200 plus $550 to top off.
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