If you receive social security spouse's or widow's benefits, and also get income from a government pension, this may reduce the amount of your social security payment. This provision of the law is called government pension offset. Typically, it applies if you become eligible for a government pension based on your own work, which was not covered by social security. The offset can decrease your spouse's or widow's benefit by two-thirds of the amount of your government pension. In other words, two-thirds of your monthly government pension amount would be subtracted from each social security check. The reason behind the pension offset is that social security spouse's benefits were meant to support a non-working, dependent spouse. However, there are some exceptions to the pension offset rule. For more information, call or visit the social security office. Ask for a copy of their publication, government pension offset.