Can I Get Benefits If My Deceased Spouse Was On Disability?

Parmele Law FirmSocial Security

Social security payments are personal, meaning the amount of your social security payment benefit is directly related to you and your work history. Over your lifetime you earn wages and pay into the social security system through taxes withheld from your paycheck. These payments add up and you are given “credit” for your work so that when you reach retirement age you have a steady stream of income to use for expenses. In some instances you are even entitled to receive your deceased spouse’s social security benefits, but when payments are for a disability the picture changes a bit. Disability payments are also personal, meaning the person who is disabled is the one entitled to receive the payments. So what do you do if your spouse was on disability and dies? Are you entitled to the payments your spouse received while living, or do you have to pursue other avenues of income?

The Social Security Administration does provide for survivors benefits, and here is how it works:

  • If you have reached the age of retirement you can receive your deceased spouse’s social security benefits. Certain requirements must be met and to find out if you can take advantage of these benefits, contact our office for an in depth review of your specific circumstances.
  • If you are receiving disability payments for your own disability, it is possible to consider your deceased spouse’s work history when calculating your disability benefit; as follows:


  • You must be disabled at the time of your spouse’s death
  • If you were not disabled when your spouse died, but have become disabled within 7 years of the death you may qualify
  • You must have been married for at least 9 months
  • You and your deceased spouse had children together, and those children are still living


The amount you are entitled to receive depends on several factors, such as the length of your marriage and the benefit amount your spouse was receiving prior to death. The rules for survivors benefits are complicated and can become more so when both you and your deceased spouse suffer a disability. To get the most out of the benefits available, call a qualified social security disability lawyer for help.

If you have questions about how to apply for your deceased spouse’s benefits or need to know what to do if your spouse was on disability and has now passed, call an experienced attorney for help. Contact us online today for more information. We can also be reached by phone at 855-727-6353.