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Are Social Security Disability Widow Benefits an Option for You?

You’ve lost a partner who gave you so much. Along with grief comes uncertainty about what to do next.

Stable finances are a great relief in a painful time, letting you concentrate on important decisions about your future. If your deceased spouse received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you may qualify to receive all or a portion of them as widow or widower benefits.

Figuring out whether you qualify for SSDI survivor benefits in the wake of a loved one’s death can be a burden. You can use all the support you can get as you recover from such an emotional loss.

Let Baynetta M. Jordan, P.C., Attorney at Law, help you. We’re the disability lawyers who say, “Nobody Pushes West Texans Around™,” and we’ve helped thousands of people in Texas get disability benefits.

If you live in Lubbock, Plainview, Levelland, Midland and Odessa or anywhere in West Texas, talk to us about how you can get Social Security Disability widow benefits.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Survivor Benefits

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Survivor Benefits?

Yes, the application for Social Security disability benefits is complicated. You have to fill out multiple forms. You can’t skip over sections because you don’t have time to fill them out.

Make sure you go over your application closely. Give full answers. Don’t leave a question blank.

Sending an incomplete application gives claims examiners an easy reason to deny you.

Think hard about all the ways your health problems are limiting your ability to function on the job.

A disability attorney can also ask you questions and help you through the forms.

When filling out your application, you’ll need to pay special attention to sections that ask you to provide proof of your disability.

The type of proof you provide will be different for every type of impairment.

The more proof you can offer, the better. Your proof may include results from medical tests, notes from your doctor, a list of your prescriptions, and statements from people who are familiar with your condition.

You can’t just tell Social Security you have health problems that leave you unable to work. You have to prove it with evidence.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Survivor Benefits?

As a widow or widower, you are eligible to collect benefits because of the contributions your late husband or wife made to Social Security during their time working.

How much, however, depends on several factors, including your age, any disability you may have, and whether you are supporting a child who was under your spouse’s care.

For example:

  • If you have reached full retirement age, you can receive 100% of your spouse’s benefits.
  • Between 60 years old and full retirement age, you can receive 71.5 to 99% of your spouse’s benefits.
  • If you’re between 50 and 59 years old with a qualifying disability yourself, you can receive 71.5% of those benefits.
  • If you’re caring for a child under 16, or who also has a disability, you can be eligible for 75%.

These conditions may also apply if you and your late spouse are divorced but your marriage lasted 10 years or more.

It’s also worth noting that if you remarry before 60 (or before 50 if you have a disability), then you cannot receive these benefits while you’re married. If you remarry after 60 (or 50 in the case of a disability), then your survivor benefits won’t be impacted.

Children of Social Security Disability recipients who died, and parents of deceased SSDI recipients who depended on their adult child’s support, can also get disability death benefits under certain circumstances. Social Security puts a cap on the totals an entire family can collect.

You can see that understanding your eligibility and collecting your late partner’s Social Security benefits isn’t easy. We can help. Our disability attorneys know the system and can offer support as you make the right decisions for you and your family.

What Do You Need to Apply for Social Security Disability Death Benefits?

Before you apply for Social Security benefits as a widow or widower, there are some steps you must take.

  • Your funeral home should report your loved one’s death to the Social Security Administration. If not, you will have to do it over the phone or in person—not online.
  • If Social Security sends any monthly checks after your spouse has died, do not cash them. Instead, return them and apply to receive survivor benefits. If your spouse had received benefits through direct deposit, have your bank return those funds to Social Security.

Once those steps are done, you can apply for Social Security survivors’ benefits. Our experienced Texas Social Security Disability lawyers are here to help you with this process. To get started, you will need some or all of the following:

  • Proof of your spouse’s death
  • Your marriage certificate
  • Your birth certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
  • Your own disability status if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Tax forms from the last year
  • Your divorce decree if you are applying as the survivor of a former husband or wife

You don’t have to handle all of this alone.

Applying for survivors’ benefits can be a lot. Let our West Texas disability law firm team help you out, so you can get on the best path forward after suffering a difficult loss.