Social Security Disability Benefits for Widows

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Widow’s Social Security Disability Benefits

By Kathleen Overton
Attorney, PLF

There are two types of social security disability benefits: Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) is dependent on a social security disability claimant’s work record. That is, you must have worked a sufficient number of quarters in order to be sufficiently covered to receive DIB. There are times, however, when a social security disability claimant may receive DIB based not on their own work record, but based on the claimant’s relationship with the wage earner. Two examples are Disabled Adult Child Benefits and Disabled Widows Benefits.

In order to receive Disabled Widows Benefits, the social security disability claimant must meet certain requirements. In addition to meeting the medical definition of disability (that is, the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or result in death), the social security disability claimant must also meet certain non-medical requirements. Specifically, the widow or widower must be between ages 50 and 60 and the disability must have started before or within seven years of the worker’s death. This period of time is called the prescribed period. The prescribed period may be extended in some circumstances. If a widow or widower is caring for the worker’s children receives Social Security benefits, they may still receive benefits if the disability starts before those payments end or within seven years after they end.

Like any social security disability claim, filing as soon as it is clear that a disabling impairment is present is crucial. Of course, the further an application date is from the end of the prescribed period, the harder it becomes to prove disability during the required period. However, filing a claim for Disabled Widows Benefits may result in a significant increase in monthly benefits in the case of a stay at home parent or a spouse who did not earn as much as the deceased wage earner. Remember, the medical standard for disability is the same. The difference is under what title the claimant will receive benefits, the amount of the benefits, and the period that disability must be proved.

Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney Today!

If you believe you may be eligible for Disabled Widows Benefits, please contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney as soon as possible.