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Do I qualify for widow or widower’s benefits?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2022 | Social Security Disability Benefits

Most California households today require two incomes. For California residents who cannot work because of a disability, social security disability benefits provide that much needed income.

Many married couples depend on SSD benefits to pay the bills, keep a roof over their heads, put food in the house and maintain a decent standard of living, since one spouse is unable to work.

If you recently lost your spouse who was receiving SSD benefits, one of your biggest questions and worries may be how you are going to survive without their SSD income.

What are widow/widower’s benefits?

You may have heard of widow/widower’s benefits. These are benefits paid through the Social Security Administration to widows or widowers of recipients of SSD benefits. This federally funded program helps numerous individuals who cannot survive without the SSD benefits their spouse was receiving.

The good news is that you may be entitled to these benefits. There are only a few requirements. You must:

  • Be between 50-50 years old
  • Be unmarried
  • Have been married to your spouse for at least 9 months prior to their passing

Additionally, your spouse must have earned enough social security credits during their lifetime.

Even if you meet all these requirements, you must examine your own work history. If you qualify for an equal or higher social security retirement benefit on your own, the widow/widower’s benefits may not be available to you.

Learn about your options

Everyone’s circumstances are different. Some exceptions may apply to some of these requirements. It is important to have accurate information and explore all your options.

You need time to heal and mourn the loss of your spouse, without the added burden and worry of how you’ll pay the bills or stay in your home. Experienced disability attorneys provide compassionate and helpful advice and can guide you through the application process so you can focus on what matters most.