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JAFO31,

Even married spouses, when the first spouse dies, are forced to choose between receiving "their own" benefits or benefits as a "surviving spouse".

First time I ever heard about this. I guess I didn't know much about the benefits since my partner and I are not eligible. Still, I checked the SSA web site about survivor benefits at
http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10084.html . I did not find any mention of this important limitation (and neither are the OP).
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