The death of a spouse can be both emotionally and financially devastating. The Social Security Administration offers survivor benefits, including benefits for widows and widowers who are age sixty and over, whether or not they are disabled, or for those who are fifty or older and are disabled.
To be eligible for widows or widowers’ benefits, your deceased spouse must have paid enough into Social Security to insure his or her family for survivor benefits. The Social Security Administration can tell you whether he or she had enough work credits. Usually you are not eligible for disabled widow or widower’s benefits if you remarried before age fifty and are still married when you become disabled. Additionally, you must become disabled within seven years of the death of your spouse or within seven years of the end of your prior entitlement, if any, on your spouse’s earnings record.
Disabled surviving divorced spouses who were married to a deceased insured worker for more than ten years are also eligible under the same rules as widows and widowers. Social Security disability can be paid to a disabled widow or widower and to a disabled surviving divorced spouse simultaneously without reducing the amount of each other’s benefits.
The Social Security Administration will apply the same rules to determine whether you are disabled that they use for individuals applying for Social Security Disability Insurance under their own earnings record or for Supplemental Security Income.
See more here: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0410110001
By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®