Widow Benefits


When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse may be entitled to benefits.  If the surviving spouse is over the age of 60, he or she is eligible to receive their spouse’s benefits.  However, if the surviving spouse is disabled, they are entitled to these benefits at the age of 50.  The disability needs to occur during the prescribed period that is the disability started within seven years of the spouse’s death and the disabled spouse reaches the age of 50 during that seven-year time span.

If the living spouse does not have children collecting benefits from the deceased spouse, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive 71.5% of the decease’s SSDI benefit amount.

To be found disabled, the surviving spouse must provide medical evidence that he or she has a physical or mental health impairment.  The impairment must prevent the individual from earning substantial gainful activity and be expected to last at least 12 months or until death.  In 2019, substantial gainful activity means earning $1220 or more before taxes in a month from employment.  In addition, the impairment either must meet a listing or that the impairments limit the individual from doing any work in the national economy.  However, at the age of 50, Social Security considers the individual’s age and it may be easier to qualify for disability.

If a person believes he or she is unable to work due to a medical condition, is 50 or older, and their spouse is deceased, they can contact Hoglund Law 1-855-513-4357 to have an attorney review their claim.

Written by Deborah Bensch

Deborah Bensch graduated from Southern Illinois University Law School in May of 2006. She has been with Hoglund Law since the fall of 2011 practicing solely in Social Security Disability. Prior to joining Hoglund Law, she practiced in public interest law.

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