Social Security Disabled Widow Benefits

by admin on March 13, 2017 · Disabled Widows


If you are a disabled widow age 50 or older you may be able to receive benefits off your spouse’s (or former spouse’s) Social Security record. If your spouse or former spouse has recently passed away you should notify Social Security as soon as possible. Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

If you are a widow from a spouse you were divorced from, you may still be eligible to receive disabled widow benefits even if you are not eligible for Social Security Disability on your own record. To be eligible you need to have been married to your spouse for 10 years or longer and meet the medical requirements for disability benefits under Social Security. This includes being evaluated by your State disability determination agency. Additionally, your spouse needs to have earned a minimum of 40 credits (40 credits is 10 years of work) from working in jobs that pay Social Security taxes.

If you were married to your spouse when they passed, Social Security does not require that you were married for 10 years. In either case, you will need to provide proof of relationship in the form of your marriage certificate or divorce decree, along with your spouse’s death certificate when you file for benefits. As the surviving spouse you will be eligible for a one time payment of $255. This one time payment is only paid to a surviving spouse or a dependent child.

When you apply for disabled widow benefits the State will evaluate your medical condition. This process typically takes 120 days. If approved, you will be eligible to receive benefits as long as you continue to meet the disability requirements until age 65. At age 65 you may be converted to a retirement benefit on your own record if that amount is higher; if the amount is not higher you will continue receiving widow benefits but will not be receiving them for disability. Disability benefits are not paid after the age of 65.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia Brown September 3, 2007 at 10:30 am

What will happen to my widow’s benefits if I remarry?

isabella alridge July 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm

i am a widow. have applied for my disability. was denied. received letter from odar office saying they had received my letter of request for hearing. they told me that they would send me another letter 20 days before the hearing date. approx. how soon after you receive the first letter do you get the letter announcing date. also i am applying for widow’s disability benefits, is applying for widow’s any faster than just regular disability benefits.

Billie Robinson July 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm

My grandmother was married for 6 months before my grandfather passed away. She was told that she is not entitled to his benefits because they were not married long enough, is that true? He did have cancer and they were married for about 6 months before he passed. State PA.

Sandra M. Pinto August 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm

I have been drawing “Widow of a Disabled Man” Social Security Benefits starting at at 60. I will be 65 in January 2010. How will my benefits change then and how much will I draw?

Sharron Dianne Keith November 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I would like some information concerning early withdrawl of a portion of my IRA savings. I understand that as a disabled widow on social security that I am eligible to do so but, I am not sure how much is allowable. I also understand that it can be based on medical insurance or medical care costs for me. Can you advise me on this and tell me how much I am elegible to withdraw. I am 57 1/2. Will I need to show proof of my costs to the IRS at the end of the year?
I would apprecaite any help you could give me on this before the end of this year.
Thank you,D. Keith

Marguerite Platt March 9, 2010 at 8:47 am

My father passed away in August of 2001. Shortly after, Mom started exhibiting bizarre behaviors that were out of character for her (she was head over heels in puppy love for a 30-year-old guy at church, wanted to give away money, etc.) but we attributed it to her grief. My parents were married for 33 years. Over the next several years, Mom became forgetful of things like food baking (burning)in the oven, taking her meds, and even had three car wrecks before the last one finally totaled the car. She started having these “spells” that one docotor called TIAs or possible absence seizures. I tried to get some help through SS disability, and the person I spoke to referred me to Widow’s benefits. Mom started getting monthly benefits in January of 2008. Fast forward to now, and she has been denied widow’s benefits twice (via letters from SSA, but the money was uninterrupted) and the hearing was last Tuesday. The judge was very kind and off the record said that our evidence was weak and offered a continuance so we could seek the advice of an attorney. I spoke to an attorney last week who said that since Mom had actually received benefits up to now, there was no “back pay” through which he would be paid. He never called me back. I have no idea what to do now. Mom clearly has memory problems and is being treated with Namenda and Aricept. She has several MRIs that indicate stroke damage. She requires supervision all day while I am at work, at a cost of about $800 per month. How do we go about proving the significance of Mom’s disabling condition before August of 2008 without a time machine?

Jeannine McAllister April 7, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I was determined disabled ten years ago and have been on SSI. I have also been in the Ticket to Work program. I’ve been attempting to work out of my apartment part-time doing writing. Can I make some income and be on Disabled Widow Benefits?

Christine Colburn July 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

I am a 57 year old widow who is on SSDI…My benifits WERE 1097.00 then 110.00 was taken out for ins. I just received a letter stating that I would receiv 1097 as of Aug with no ins taken. Is this my SSDI or am I receiving my late husbands SS benifits?

susan September 2, 2010 at 9:47 am

can i re-marry under widow’s disability & keep my benefits as they are?

charmaine falcon September 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm

i plan on applying for disabled widows benefits as soon as i recieve a death certificate. i have the marriage certificate. my husband died in 1986. why was i not informed about these benefits then and there? of course, i did not officially become disabled until 2002. but i, even then should have been notified by social security about this plan. they notify me about everything else. a ssa, on the phone told me to absolutely apply for these benefits. that i am entitled. i can get all the records of disability i need from my lawer. i will have both certificates and then i will apply. i expect to hear from ssi or a soon after i apply. i hope i do not have to get a lawer to handle this. everything is red tape! thank you, charmaine falcon

rosemary britanik October 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm

isabella, do not freat it can take up to 2 years but your day will come they will pay you back to day 1 if you win do not give up

patricia henke February 15, 2011 at 8:38 am

I wass collecting widows benifits at age 60 and was just got my disability starting feb.2011. Am i still able to collect my widows benefits along with my disability.

Katherine March 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I was denied widows pay until i was 56. They told me to reapply. Went down to the office and they tell me something else. All i want is to recieve widows pay!

Vicki Pless May 13, 2011 at 6:55 am

I am recently widowed. My spouse did not work for almost 2 years due to his illness that took hi life in December 2010. I am not sure if he filed his taxes for the past ten years. Am I eligible for anything. I do work and I have paid my taxes we filed separate returns every year so he kept his hidden from me so I don’t know what to do or how to do anything concerning my income when I retire.

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