A disabled widow's benefit is paid to the disabled spouse of a deceased worker who had earned enough Social Security credits. In order to receive disabled widow's benefits, the widow (or widower) must meet the following requirements:
1. The disabled widow must have attained the age of 50, but not yet attained the age of 60
2. The disabled widow must have been married to the deceased worker for not less than 9 months prior to the day that the deceased worker died.
3. The widow must meet Social Security's definition of disability. Social Security defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months
4. The widow's disability generally must have started within 7 years of the deceased worker's death.
5. The widow must not be entitled to an equal or higher Social Security benefit on his or her own earnings record
If a widow is above the age of 60, he or she can receive survivor's benefits. If over the age of 60, the widow does not have to be disabled in order to receive survivor's benefits. A widow cannot receive both disabled widow's benefits and disability benefits on their own record. They are only eligible to receive the higher of the two benefits.
If you think you might be entitled to disabled widow's benefits, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. at (251) 343-1111. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court.