Losing a spouse is one of life’s most challenging moments. In the midst of the emotional upheaval, a widow often faces a multitude of financial concerns. One vital resource available to many widows in the United States is Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. If your deceased spouse paid into Social Security, you might be eligible for widow’s benefits.
As you navigate this challenging time, understanding the nuances of these benefits can offer a bit of solace. Here are some frequently asked questions about a widow’s SSDI benefits.
What are widow’s SSDI benefits?
Widow’s SSDI benefits are a type of Social Security benefit available to the surviving spouses of workers who paid into the Social Security system. These benefits aim to provide financial support to widows or widowers based on the earnings record of the deceased spouse.
Who qualifies for these benefits?
To qualify for widow’s benefits, you must be at least 60 years old or 50 and disabled. However, if you are taking care of a child under 16 or a disabled child who receives benefits based on your deceased spouse’s work, there is no age requirement. The child must be your biological child, adopted child or stepchild.
When can you start receiving benefits?
You can start receiving full benefits when you reach your full retirement age or you can get a lowered benefit as soon as you turn 60. If disabled, your benefits can begin as early as age 50.
Can you claim benefits if you remarry?
If you marry again after age 60 (or after age 50 if disabled), it will not impact your eligibility to receive widow’s benefits. However, if you get married again before you turn 60, you usually may not receive widow’s benefits based on the record of your former spouse unless the next marriage ends.
How much will you receive in benefits?
The monthly amount you receive depends on the earnings record of your deceased spouse and when you choose to start the benefits. If you start at full retirement age, you receive 100% of your deceased spouse’s benefit amount. If you opt to start receiving benefits between the age of 60 and your full retirement age, you will receive a lower amount.
What if you qualify for your own retirement benefits?
If you qualify for retirement benefits on your own record, you can switch to your retirement benefit as early as age 62. This means you can opt for the higher amount between the two benefits.
By understanding the basics of these benefits, you can make informed decisions and secure some financial stability during these trying times.