Social Security

for Widows

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Social Security Disability FAQs for Widows

Navigating the world of Social Security Disability can be wrought with complex rules, difficult decisions, and unclear guidelines.

Read below to have some of the most common questions about disability benefits for widows answered. Don’t see your question? Give us a call at 843.605.5533  or contact us and we’d be happy to answer your questions!

Was your deceased spouse receiving Social Security Disability benefits?

The death of your spouse is emotionally devastating. It shouldn’t be financially devastating, too.

If your spouse was receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you may be eligible to continue receiving them as a widow or widower.

Get all the financial support you can in a difficult time. The attorneys at Robertson Wendt Disability can help you determine your options for receiving your spouse’s disability benefits.

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Am I eligible to receive my deceased spouse’s disability benefits?

Your ability to collect disability benefits from a deceased spouse depends on three major factors: Your own disability, your age and your status as a child’s caretaker.

  • Under age 60, you can’t receive a spouse’s disability benefits based on age alone.
  • If you’re between 60 and full retirement age, you can receive between 71.5% and 99% of your spouse’s disability benefits.
  • If you’ve reached your full retirement age, you can receive 100% of your spouse’s disability benefits.
  • If you’re between 50 and 59 and you also have a disability, you can receive 71.5% percent of your spouse’s benefits.
  • If you’re caring for a child under the age of 16, you can receive 75% of your spouse’s benefits.

You may also be eligible for a lump sum death payment of $255 if you’re a surviving spouse who was living in the same home as the disability recipient at the time of death.

As you age into different categories, the benefits you receive are subject to change.

It’s understandable if you have a lot of questions about how this works. You can discuss your situation with a lawyer at Robertson Wendt Disability at no charge.

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Social Security Disability for Widows Inforgraphic

How do I apply for survivor benefits?

To apply for survivor disability benefits, you’ll need to call or visit your nearest Social Security office in person. You cannot apply for survivor benefits online.

To get the process started ahead of time, begin by filling out an Adult Disability Report and bringing it with you to the Social Security office.

You should also bring the following supporting documents:

  • Your birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful resident alien status
  • U.S. military discharge papers if you served prior to 1968
  • W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax forms for the previous year
  • Any medical records or other evidence supporting your disability
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits you received

If you don’t have all the documents, you can still file your claim. The Social Security office can help you get the proper documents together — so can an attorney.

You should go to Social Security prepared to provide basic information about yourself, such as your Social Security number and date of birth, as well as your spouse’s corresponding information and information for your minor children, if you have any.

In addition, bring your bank routing number if you plan to have your benefits electronically deposited.

For help making a claim for widow or widower benefits, call today.

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