Manring & Farrell

What factors affect your disabled widow's benefits?

The amount you can receive in Social Security benefits as a disabled widow or widower in Ohio varies depending on a number of different factors. These include the date that you became disabled, your age and whether you care for children under the age of 16. If you choose to remarry, that can have an effect as well, although it depends partly on the other factors.

According to the Social Security Administration, the basic rule is that you can receive widow's/widower's benefits if you became disabled prior to your spouse's death or within seven years thereafter and you are 50 years old or older. Assuming that your spouse had reached full retirement age upon death, you could receive 71.5% of the benefit amount if you are age 50 to 59. Remarriage does not affect your eligibility for survivors benefits if it takes place after age 50. 

If you are disabled, receive Social Security benefits and also care for your late spouse's children under the age of 16, a special situation results. In this case, your eligibility for benefits depends on when you became disabled relative to your Social Security benefits expiring rather than your spouse's death. If your disability starts within seven years of the time that your benefits end, or before your benefits end, you are still eligible to receive disabled widow's/widower's benefits. 

Once you reach age 62, you are eligible to apply for your own Social Security benefit. Additionally, it may be helpful to reapply for benefits if you remarry and your new spouse is a Social Security beneficiary. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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