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Widow’s Disability Benefits

If your loved one who has been receiving Social Security Disability benefits has recently passed away, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed by sadness and confusion. Not only are you enduring the emotional turmoil of coping with the loss of your spouse, but you are also flooded with questions about whether or not you’ll continue to receive survivor benefits, commonly known as Widow/Widower Benefits. In most cases, funeral homes report the individual’s death directly to the Social Security Administration.

Here is additional information from our SSD lawyer in Scranton.

Qualifying for Benefits

In the case that an individual who is receiving Social Security Disability or Social Security benefits passes away, the surviving spouse becomes eligible to receive their deceased spouse’s benefits if the survivor is over the age of 60. In the case that the surviving spouse is also disabled, the eligibility age is lowered to 50 but the rules are different. 

In order for the surviving spouse to qualify to take over benefits as a disabled widow or widower, the individual needs to medically prove that they are suffering from a medically determinable mental or physical condition. This condition needs to prevent you from being gainfully employed and the condition needs to last or be expected to last for at least 12 months in order for you to qualify. Our SSD lawyer in Scranton is happy to help answer your questions about whether or not you qualify to take over these benefits. 

Be Mindful of the Payment Cycle

You will not receive any benefits on behalf of your spouse during the month that they pass away. In the case that you do receive the money via check or if it’s directly deposited into your bank account, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you return the money to them. 

In order to return the money, funds that are received through direct deposit can be sent back by contacting the financial institution directly. If you receive a check, do not cash it. Instead, return the check to the local SSA district office and contact our team for assistance.

There is a one-time lump-sum payment of $255 that is paid to the surviving spouse who resides with the deceased* following the death of their partner. If there is not a surviving spouse, the Social Security Administration will pay a surviving child who is eligible for benefits in the month of the death.

What If You Remarry?

If your spouse has passed away and you choose to remarry, you may be eligible to receive benefits if you remarry after you turn 60 years old. The Social Security Administration uses the same definition of disabled for widows and widowers as they do for workers.

Surviving a Divorced Spouse

It’s possible to receive widow/widower benefits if your ex-spouse passes away, however, your marriage needs to have lasted at least 10 years. You will need to provide proof that your marriage was at least 10 years. If you choose to remarry after the age of 60, your remarriage may not have an impact on your eligibility.

Other Situations to Consider

In the case that you are also eligible to receive retirement benefits and have yet to apply, you may apply for retirement benefits or survivor’s benefits immediately and switch to the other set of benefits at a later date. 

If you are already receiving retirement benefits, you may only apply for widow or widower benefits if the retirement benefits are less than the survivor benefits. 

How Much are Benefits?

The specific amount that you receive depends on how much the deceased individual paid into Social Security. Your age and the type of benefit that you’re eligible to receive will determine how much money you get on a monthly basis. Common examples include:

  • Widow/widower who is of the full retirement age or older will receive 100 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit amount 
  • Widow/widower who is 60 years old will receive anywhere from 71.5 percent to 99 percent of the deceased worker’s basic amount depending on his or her age
  • Children under the age of 18 (or 19 if still in secondary or elementary school) will receive 75 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit amount

Contact Our SSD Lawyer in Scranton

We understand that the intricacies of Social Security Disability benefits following the death of your spouse are complicated. It’s essential to turn to our SSD lawyer near Scranton for assistance and guidance during this time. Take advantage of our free case evaluations by calling us toll-free at 800-889-6101 to get started. 

*Or was receiving benefits in his or her account or became eligible upon his or her death

Do you have any questions? Call Toll Free 800-889-6101 or Free Case Evaluation