1. Social Security Disability
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  3. Glossary
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  5. Disability Survivors Benefits

Disability Survivors Benefits

Title 20, Section 404.330 of the Code of Federal Regulations lists the following requirements for a surviving spouse of an insured person who was entitled to Social Security disability benefits (or old age benefits, if the insured was of retirement age and his or her Social Security disability benefits had been converted to old age benefits):

  • Your relationship lasted at least one year, or
  • you and the insured are the parents of a natural-born child, or
  • you were eligible to annuity payments on the Railroad Retirement Act for widows, widowers, parents, or children in the month before to your marriage to the insured;


you submit a benefit application


  • whether of not you’re over the age of 62, if you match the other eligibility requirements, you’re eligible.
  • As long as you are not entitled to Social Security disability or old-age benefits that exceed or equal the insured’s full benefit, you may be eligible for a child’s benefit on the insured’s record if you have a kid under the age of 16 or is disabled.

Survivor benefits can be applied for over the phone or in person at any Social Security office. Since payments are generally given from the date you apply for them, rather than the date the insured died, you should apply for them as soon as possible.

Even though you’ll be asked to provide a slew of paperwork by Social Security, you’re not required to have everything ready before you submit your disability claim. Documents requested by Social Security must be originals or certified copies. In order to avoid the possibility of losing your Social Security documents, you should make a copy of everything you submit.

A death certificate, Social Security numbers for you, your children, the insured, your birth certificate and those of your children, your marriage certificate if the insured was your spouse, your divorce documents if you apply as a divorced widow or widower, the insured’s W-2 forms or federal self-employment tax return for most recent year, and the name of the bank and your account number in case of dire need.

You should contact Social Security following the insured’s death if you are already receiving Social Security disability payments or old age benefits based on your own employment record in order to see if your benefits will increase as a widow or widower. Your benefits will be changed to survivor benefits after the Social Security Administration has received a death certificate and you have applied for them.