Ohio Social Security Disability And SSI Legal Blog

Are you eligible for disabled widow and widower benefits?

If you have a disability, you may rely on your spouse’s income. If you are unable to work, you might wonder how you will pay your bills once your husband or wife dies. Depending on your situation, you could be eligible to receive disabled widow and widower benefits.

According to Benefits.gov, the Social Security Administration offers benefits to disabled widows and widowers.


You do not automatically receive these benefits once your spouse dies. Instead, the SSA examines your application to determine if you meet the eligibility guidelines. You typically need to be between the ages of 50 and 60. Additionally, your marriage has to last for at least nine months before your spouse dies. Your husband or wife also needs to have the appropriate amount of Social Security credits.

The SSA also considers your work history. Before you became disabled, you could have been eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. Your own benefits cannot be higher than the disabled widow or widower benefits.


The Social Security Administration says that officials also consider your disability. Most of the time, your disability needs to start before your spouse died. You could also be eligible if your condition severely affected your life up to seven years before your spouse’s death. You typically need to provide documentation about your condition.

You could sometimes receive these benefits even if your disability developed after your spouse’s death. You may still have minor children at home. In this situation, you could be eligible.

Working with the SSA can sometimes be a difficult process. Officials may deny an application. You might need help demonstrating that your situation does meet the requirements.