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Widow & Widower SSD Benefits

ssd benefitsSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly income to people who have become disabled and cannot work as a result. The monthly payment amounts are determined based on how much you paid in to the Social Security system over the course of your working life. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you also must have worked a sufficiently long period of time before becoming disabled. The amount of time you must have worked is determined based on earning work credits.

While work history is important in determining eligibility for Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration also has certain special programs for widows and widowers who are disabled and who may wish to qualify for benefits under their deceased spouse’s work record instead of their own.

If you are a widow or widower and you wish to make a disability claim under your deceased spouse’s work history, an experienced Social Security disability benefits lawyer at Land Parker & Welch, P.A. in South Carolina can help you to understand your rights and work to secure the benefits you deserve.

Call (803) 435-8894 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.

Eligibility for Widow or Widower SSD Benefits

In order to be eligible for widow or widower disability benefits, you must meet several criteria:

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You must be between the ages of 50 and 60.

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You must meet the SSA’s criteria to be considered disabled.

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Your disability must have begun within seven years of the time when your spouse passed away.

For many widows and widowers, the biggest challenge is proving that they meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled.” This is a narrow definition that applies only to those who have a long-term and severe impairment that has lasted a year, will last a year or will be fatal.

It can also be challenging under certain circumstances to prove that your disability began within the required seven-year time frame. Medical records documenting the onset and progression of your disability can be useful in these cases.

Why are Widow and Widower Disability Benefits Important?

widow-and-widower-disabilityThe SSA offers widow and widower disability benefits in recognition of the fact that there is often a significant earning discrepancy between spouses and recognition of the fact that often one spouse is financially supported by the other.

Since both eligibility and the amount of SSDI benefits are determined based on your work history, you could be at a serious disadvantage if you stayed home during the course of your marriage or if your spouse was the primary breadwinner in your family. Social Security disability widow or widowers benefits can help ensure that you have the money you need to take care of yourself when disabled, even if your spouse is no longer alive.

Widow and widowers benefits are an important social safety net for families where the spouse who was the breadwinner is deceased and the surviving spouse is unable to work due to a disability.

Making a Claim for Widow or Widowers SSD Benefits

ssd-benefitsThe Social Security Administration indicates that a widow, widower or surviving divorced spouse is not able to apply for survivor disability benefits on the Internet. However, you can begin the initial application process by completing an Adult Disability Report that can be obtained from the SSA website.

You will need to ensure that your entire application is completed as thoroughly as possible and that you include documentation to prove your eligibility for benefits.  The majority of SSD claims are denied, including the claims made by disabled widowers and widows who are seeking essential financial support after the loss of a spouse. That means it is essential to get your application right. If your claim is denied, it is also important to get help as soon as possible from a legal professional who can guide you through the appeals process.

At Land Parker & Welch, P.A., our South Carolina SSD lawyers have more than 120 years of combined legal experience helping clients to make disability claims. We understand how frightening it can be when you are disabled and the breadwinner in your family is gone. We are here and ready to provide you with compassionate, caring and professional legal help.

Located in Manning, our firm prides itself on treating its clients like family. When you call Land, Parker & Welch, P.A., you won’t be talking to an automated service. You’ll get to speak directly with a disability benefits attorney. Call (803) 435-8894 or use our online contact form for a consultation at no charge to you.