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When can you receive widow(er)'s benefits based on disability?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

513. When can you receive widow(er)'s benefits based on disability?

You can receive disabled widow(er)'s benefits as a disabled widow(er) or surviving divorced spouse age 50-59 if, effective for benefits payable January 1991 or later, you meet the conditions below:

  1. You meet the definition of disability for disabled workers in §507.1.;

  2. You became disabled no later than seven years after the latest of the following months:

    1. The month the disabled worker died;

    2. The last month you were previously entitled to mother's or father's insurance benefits based on disability on the disabled worker's earnings record; or

    3. The month your entitlement to widow(er)'s insurance benefits ended because your disability ended;

  3. You have been disabled throughout a waiting period of five full calendar months in a row; and

    Note: No waiting period is required if you were previously entitled to disabled widow(er)'s benefits.

  4. You meet the non-disability requirements for a surviving spouse or a surviving divorced spouse (see Chapter 4).

Note: A widow(er) age 60-64 and under a disability is entitled to Medicare benefits only.

(See §407 concerning the amount of benefits.)

Last Revised: Jan. 22, 2008

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