Do I Qualify for Widow or Widower Benefits Under Social Security Disability?

    You’ve lost your spouse, and in the midst of your grieving people are relying on you to make so many decisions about how to move forward.

    The last thing you need right now is stress about your financial situation. If your spouse was receiving Social Security Disability benefits, what happens now? Is there any help available for you?

    You could possibly get a monthly widow or widower benefits check under Social Security Disability. And this could give you back a much-needed sense of stability.

    You can grieve with less worry about money. You can take steps toward a better future.

    Geary Disability Law guides people in the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin through this process. We’ve helped thousands of people.

    Contact Us Today!

    Eligibility for Widow or Widower Disability Benefits

    If your late husband or wife qualified for and received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), that means they had income that counted toward both Social Security retirement and survivor benefits.

    You may be able to receive a percentage of your late spouse’s disability benefits.

    These factors determine what you are eligible for:

    • If you’re age 60 to full retirement age, you can receive 71.5 percent to 99 percent of your spouse’s disability benefits.
    • If you’re at or beyond full retirement age, you can receive 100 percent of your spouse’s disability benefits.
    • If you’re caring for your spouse’s child, and the child is either under 16 or over 16 and has a disability, you can receive 75 percent of your spouse’s benefits.
    • If you have a qualifying disability yourself that started within seven years of your spouse’s death, and you’re between the ages of 50 and 59, you can receive 71.5 percent of your spouse’s disability benefits.

    This is a simple overview of widow or widower benefits. Social Security rules also cover whether or not you can get disability benefits in the case of divorce, remarriage and being a surviving child.

    Social Security also puts a ceiling on benefits per family member if more than one person is receiving benefits, among many other rules.

    A Wisconsin Social Security Disability lawyer like Tim Geary can help you sort through all of it to see what you could get, and how best to proceed with filing a claim.

    You can start by just talking to us about your situation. There’s no charge for that.

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    Applying for “Disabled Widow(er)” Benefits

    The first thing you should know is that if your deceased spouse was receiving disability benefits, you should not cash any checks dated the month of their death or afterward. You’re required to return those benefit amounts to Social Security.

    If you’re a widow or widower who is eligible to receive some or all of your late spouse’s disability benefits, you’ll need to file a claim for that. First, you need to gather the documents to go with your application, including some or all of the following:

    • Proof of your spouse’s death
    • Proof of your birth (birth certificate or other form)
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship (or lawful alien status if you were not born in the U.S.)
    • U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968
    • For your own disability status, the forms (SSA-3368 and SSA-827) that describe your medical condition and authorize disclosure of information to Social Security
    • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year
    • You’ll get support for your appeal of a benefits denial.
    • Final divorce decree (if applying as a surviving divorced spouse)
    • Marriage certificate

    Putting all this paperwork together is another burden a disability attorney can take off your shoulders. They can help you by determining what documentation you’ll need and helping you gather it.

    Disability attorney Tim Geary has over 20 years of experience helping people win Social Security Disability benefits.

    And he knows the people in Wisconsin Social Security offices, in the courts, and in our local health care system.

    At a hard time in your life, you deserve some support to get you through it.

    Call Us Now!

    Social Security Disability FAQs

    It’s only natural for you to have many questions when your life has been disrupted by health problems and you need financial assistance. Get started on your path forward with our answers to some of the questions we hear most often:


    Hear from a Geary Law Firm Client

    “Helped me every step of the way, and won my case for me. I am not rich, and he had my best interests at heart. I would highly recommend him, as I have already done, several times.”

    Kim Burr in Google Reviews


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