Social Security Benefits for Widows and Widowers
Filing a claim for widows or widowers benefits can be a difficult and complicated task for a surviving spouse. Knowing which benefit to file for, when to file and which type of benefits help the surviving spouse the most can be confusing. Attorney Rick Madore has an extensive amount of experience representing disabled individuals and knows the laws and regulations of the Social Security Administration very well.
If you are a surviving spouse and need to apply for widows or widowers benefits — or have recently been denied widows or widowers benefits — contact our office for a free no obligation review of your claim today. Rick is aware of the uncertainties that lie ahead and how important your financial security is to you.
When Are Social Security Benefits Available to Widows and Widowers?
The Social Security Administration provides benefits to the spouses of deceased workers in the following instances:
- When a spouse is at least 50 years old and disabled;
- When a spouse is at least 60 years old but has not reached full retirement age;
- When a spouse has reached full retirement age;
- When a spouse is any age, not remarried and caring for a disabled child under the age of 16 that receives SSDI benefits on the deceased spouse’s earnings record.
Widow and widower benefits are generally calculated based on the benefit a deceased spouse was receiving from the Social Security Administration at the time of death or was eligible to receive if he or she had not claimed benefits. Benefits are calculated as follows:
- A disabled spouse who is at least 50 years old is eligible to receive 71.5% of the deceased spouse's benefit;
- A spouse between the ages of 60 years old and full retirement age is eligible to receive between 71.5% and up to 99% of the deceased spouse’s benefit. The older the surviving spouse is, the higher the benefit is;
- A spouse that has reached full retirement age is eligible to receive 100% of the deceased spouses benefit;
- A spouse that is any age and caring for a disabled child under the age of 16 who is receiving benefits on the deceased spouse's earnings record is eligible to receive 75% of the deceased spouse's benefit.
Surviving Divorced Spouse Benefits
A surviving divorced spouse can receive all of the same benefits as a widow or widower when a marriage has lasted for 10 years or more. There is an exception to the 10-year length of marriage rule for surviving divorced spouses in cases where they are caring for a disabled child who is under the age of 16 and entitled to SSDI benefits under the deceased spouse’s earnings record.
Widows, widowers, and divorced spouses cannot collect both their own Social Security benefit and the deceased spouse's benefits at the same time. Remarrying after age 60 or age 50, if disabled, does not affect survivors benefits. However, if a surviving spouse marries before age 60 or age 50, if disabled, they lose eligibility for survivors benefits.
Contact an Experienced Widows and Widowers Benefits Attorney
The timing and filing of a benefit claim for a widow or widower is important and can be a difficult process to navigate for a surviving spouse. You do not have to go through the process alone. Attorney Rick Madore can help you get you the benefits you deserve. We represent Social Security widow and widower clients throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Contact our office for a free no obligation review of your claim today.