In a previous blog, I discussed the fact that there are certain types of Social Security Disability benefits in which being married can affect your benefits. Several claims have a Marriage Penalty. We discussed Disabled Adult Child (DAC) claims and now we will focus on how marriage affects your Widow’s/Widower’s (DWB) claims.
There are several rules to qualifying for Widow’s/Widower’s benefits and they include:
- being disabled;
- being age 50 but not age 60;
- meeting these criteria within 7 years of the spouse’s death. Although, if you are caring for minor children this timeline could be extended;
- Having been married to the deceased for at least 10 years prior to death or married at the time of death, and not being remarried.
Once a person turns 60 years of age, you do not have to be disabled to draw Widow’s/Widower’s benefits. If you remarry after age 60, it does not prevent you from becoming entitled to benefits on your prior deceased spouse’s Social Security earnings record.
If you remarry before age 60, you will not be entitled to survivor’s benefits unless the marriage ends either by death, divorce, or annulment. However, if you are over age 50 and have already been determined to be disabled and eligible for Widow/Widower’s benefits and you remarry, then your remarriage does not prevent you from remaining entitled to those benefits. If you remarry before you turn 50, you will not be entitled to survivor’s benefits unless the marriage ends. You can also remain entitled if you remarry before age 60 if the marriage is annulled.
If you are widowed twice, you may be entitled to survivor benefits based on the work records of both late spouses, but you can only collect one such payment at a time. You would draw whichever benefit was higher.
We here at Gardberg and Kemmerly specialize in disability claims and can assist you in obtaining Widow’s or Widower’s benefits. Please call our office at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation on your VA and/or SSA claim. Gardberg & Kemmerly specializes in helping the injured and disabled in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana.