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GW Potter
I've read through above replies, so not sure if this was covered or not, but at the expense of repeating something already given, let me add this

There is a max household benefit of between 150% and 188% of the worker's PIA....but that is PER PIA, not per the household.

I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but assuming it is only you and your spouse and no dependent children or parents, this is the only condition I can think of that would reduce her benefit she will be beginning...

If she's 69 in 2021 that means she was born in 1952 which would make her eligible for what is called a Restricted Application. Since you are now 81 and began your benefit at 70, and because your spouse was born before Jan 2,1954, you could use the restricted application, which means she begins her benefit but restricts it to the spousal benefit which is 50% of your PIA....not 50% of your benefit. But because you've already begun your benefit in 2011 when you were 70, it sounds like she is now contemplating starting hers are 69, and if so, because she was born before Jan 2, 1954, she can file the restricted application. This is where the reduction is likely occurring.

Now, I don't know this for a fact, but you're already at 134% of your PIA and she would be at 50% of your PIA with a restricted application....combined this likely puts you over the max % on your PIA.

IF SO then I'd go ahead and have her file post-haste....she really should have filed at 66 her Full Retirement Age (FRA). But file the restricted application now until she hits 70, and a few months before that, refile for her own benefit based on her record.

As to surviving spouse benefit, when one of you dies, since you've both filed, the survivor will get the greater of the two benefits.

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