An Inspector General's report issued, ironically, on Valentine's Day of this year, accused the Social Security Administration staffers of reducing the benefits of thousands of widows and widowers – to the tune of $132 million and counting.

They did this by forcing, cajoling, suggesting or even just letting widows and widowers file simultaneously to receive both their survivors benefits (also known as widows benefits or widowers benefits) and their retirement benefits. By preventing widows and widowers from taking one Social Security benefit first and the other later, after it has grown, the recipients are denied the opportunity to receive a higher payout in later years.