How Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits If My Deceased Spouse Was Receiving Benefits?

Widows and widowers may be eligible for their deceased spouse’s disability benefits, if their spouse was receiving these benefits before they died. However, they must meet certain conditions to qualify.

The attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, know what the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires for you to receive disability benefits after your spouse’s death and can help you with your application. If your claim gets denied, we can also assist you with the appeals process to get the SSA to reconsider your claim. Call 865-566-0800 to find out more.

Can I Receive My Deceased Spouse’s Benefits?

If your spouse has passed away, you may be eligible for the disability benefits they were receiving before their death. Generally, your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years, but there are exceptions. The SSA will consider your age, disability status, and other factors to determine whether your spouse’s disability payments should transfer to you upon their death.

What Impact Does My Age Have?

Your age may determine what percentage of your spouse’s benefits you can collect. For example:

  • If you have reached full retirement age, you can receive 100 percent of your deceased spouse’s benefits;
  • If you are over the age of 60 but under your full retirement age, you are eligible to receive 71.5 to 99 percent; and
  • If you are 50 years old or older and became disabled before your spouse’s death or within seven years of their death, you are eligible for 71.5 percent of these benefits.

What Qualifies as a Disability?

In order to qualify as disabled, your medical condition must:

  • Classify as a permanent disability or a disability lasting at least 12 months;
  • Prevent you from working or gaining employment; and
  • Have started before your spouse died or within seven years of their death.

What If I Am Caring for a Child?

If you are taking care of a child under the age of 16 or a child who is disabled, you can receive 75 percent of your deceased spouse’s SSDI benefit.

Will the SSA Look at Any Other Factors?

In addition to the above factors, the SSA may also consider the following:

  • If you remarriedbefore age 60—or before age 50 if you are disabled—you may not be eligible for your deceased spouse’s benefits;
  • If you qualify for your own disability benefits based on your work history, as well as your deceased spouse’s benefits, you can choose whichever amount is higher; and
  • If you are working while collecting your deceased spouse’s benefits, the SSA may reduce the amount you receive.

How Can I Reach a Disability Lawyer?

Losing a spouse is one of the most difficult things many people go through. Your spouse’s disability benefits can provide you with financial stability during an otherwise difficult and painful time for your family.

At the Disability Advantage Group, we help families get back on their feet after tragedy strikes. If you need assistance filing a claim to receive your deceased spouse’s disability benefits, call 865-566-0800 today.