Many people receive monthly disability benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for example. Sometimes awards are based on the applicant’s terminal illness. Since disability benefits offer much-needed support to the families of disabled people, it’s natural to wonder whether your surviving spouse will receive your SSDI benefits after you are gone.
SSDI Benefits, in General
When you receive SSDI Benefits, it means you have proven the following to the Social Security Administration:
- that you have a disability that prevents you from working, and
- that you have accumulated the right number of work credits, and
- that you accumulated a certain number of those credits in a certain number of years before you applied for disability benefits.
The Social Security Disability Insurance is paid directly to the disabled person. What happens when that person passes away? Will the surviving spouse receive that benefit?
Survivor’s Rights to SSDI Benefits
If certain conditions are met, the surviving spouse of a disability recipient may be able to access the deceased spouse’s benefits:
- At age 50 or above, if the surviving spouse became disabled before or within seven years of the recipient’s death.
- If surviving spouse has not remarried and is taking care of the deceased recipient’s child who is not 16 yet or who is disabled.
- If surviving spouse is already receiving spouse benefits, those become survivor benefits.
Under some conditions, it’s even possible to receive your ex-spouse’s benefits. However, your marriage must have lasted at least 10 years. Remarrying after age 60 or age 50 if you’re disabled does not affect eligibility. SSDI benefits may be paid to a divorced person who is caring for a child who is the deceased worker’s natural child, disabled and less than 16 years old.
Applying for Disability Survivor Benefits Is Hard. We Can Help.
It’s impossible to cover every situation involving survivor’s rights in this article. If you are the surviving spouse of someone who received Social Security Disability Benefits, consult with an attorney. You may be eligible for survivor benefits.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Call us at 714-385-8100 to set up a free consultation. Though our office is conveniently located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.