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Disabled Widow’s Benefits - How to Claim

   As part of its Disability Insurance Benefit program, Social Security permits disabled widow or widower to collect Title II disability benefits based on the earnings record of a deceased spouse.

   In order to collect, the disabled widow(er) must:

  • be disabled (i.e. meet the definition of disability for Social Security purposes)
     
  • be between the ages of 50 and 60
     
  • have become disabled within 7 years of his/her spouse’s death

   If you meet these criteria, then you can and should apply for DIWB (disabled widow’s benefits) by calling SSA at 800-772-1213.

   Widow’s benefits are designed to compensate stay at home moms (or dads) who did not earn money in the workplace, but who contributed to their families in non-monetary ways.

   A disabled ex-spouse can collect on his/her former spouse’s earnings record if:

  • you had been married to your former spouse for at least 10 years
     
  • you have been divorced for at least two years
     
  • you are at least 62 years old
     
  • you are unmarried
     
  • you are not otherwise eligible for higher benefits on your own or another’s earnings recor
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