Social Security options for disabled spouses

For many people in Ohio, Social Security is an essential form of income during their retirement years. In addition to potentially having your own Social Security benefits, you might be able to receive Social Security payments based on your spouse’s contributions after they have died. If you are also disabled, you will want to understand how this might happen and how it might impact any disability benefits you currently receive.

As explained by the Social Security Administration, the amount or percentage of benefits you may receive based on your deceased spouse’s earnings will vary in part based on your age. If you are at or over the age of retirement, you may apply for full benefits but if you are still 60, you might only be able to qualify for partial benefits. There are some situations, however, in which you may be able to receive benefits even if you are younger than 60.

There is no age limit for applying for benefits if you are the caretaker for a child 15 and younger who is the child of your deceased spouse so long as you have not remarried. If you are disabled and your disability began within seven years of your spouse’s death, you might be able to apply for benefits starting at the age of 50.

If you would like to learn more about your options for collecting Social Security benefits based on your deceased spouse’s earnings if you are disabled, please feel free to visit the surviving spouse’s retirement and disability options page of our Ohio Social Security Disability website.