When Can a Spouse Collect Survivor Disability Benefits?

Tulsa Social Security Lawyer on SSDI Death Benefits

Each Social Security attorney at our Tulsa law firm understands just how devastating the death of a loved one is, especially when he or she provided financial support to your family. To help Oklahoma families in this situation, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a number of survivor disability benefits to qualifying relatives, including survivor disability benefits based on disability and survivor benefits not based on disability.

Our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers have experience handling all types of disability law claims, from the initial application to appealing wrongful denials. We know the laws can be confusing, but these Social Security survivor benefits are here for you to claim. We want to help you do that. Our Social Security attorneys can assist eligible family members in securing monthly survivor benefits or disability benefits after the loss of a loved one.

Am I Eligible for Social Security Survivor Benefits?

If a family member who passed away paid enough into Social Security, a spouse, former spouse, unmarried children or dependent parents of the deceased may be eligible for monthly survivor benefits whether they have a disability or not.

Examples of family members who may be eligible to receive survivor benefits from Social Security include:

  • A widow or widower — A spouse who was married to the deceased for at least nine months can begin receiving full retirement benefits at retirement age and reduced Social Security benefits as early as age 60.
  • Divorced spouse — A former husband or wife may be able to receive benefits if he or she is age 60 or older and the marriage lasted at least ten years. An ex-husband or ex-wife does not need to meet the age or length-of-marriage rule if caring for a child of the deceased who is under 16. An ex-spouse cannot collect survivor benefits if remarried, although he or she can collect on the deceased’s record if the remarriage occurred after the ex-spouse reached age 60.
  • Unmarried children — A child of the deceased who is under 18 (or up to 19 if he or she is attending elementary or secondary school full-time) can receive survivor benefits. In certain circumstances, stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren or adopted children may also qualify for these benefits.
  • Dependent parents — Parents of the deceased can receive survivor benefits if they are 62 or older, and if the deceased provided at least 50 percent of their support.

The SSA also provides a one-time death benefit payment of $255 to a spouse or child under 18 if they qualify, and as long as the deceased worked long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. Survivors must apply for the one-time payment within two years from the date of death. If your spouse or a family member has passed away, contact your local Social Security office to apply for survivor benefits.

However, if you have or are caring for someone with a disability, other survivor benefits may be available. Our Tulsa disability lawyer can help you explore your eligibility for survivor disability benefits.

What are Social Security Survivor Disability Benefits?

Some survivor disability benefits are only available to those with or caring for someone with a disability, such as:

  • A widow or widower — A spouse may qualify for survivor benefits at 50 years of age if he or she has a disability and the disability began before or within seven years after the deceased died, but before the age of 60. Other circumstances may allow the surviving spouse to begin receiving benefits at any age, such as caring for a child with a disability who receives survivor benefits. For those who become disabled and do not have enough credits to qualify for SSDI, the widow or widower may be entitled to use the eligibility of the deceased spouse for benefits. Talk to a Social Security lawyer at our Tulsa law firm today to learn if your situation qualifies.
  • Ex-husband or ex-wife — An ex-husband or ex-wife does not need to meet the ten-year marriage requirement if he or she is caring for a child of the deceased with a disability.
  • Unmarried children — A child who was disabled before the age of 22 can receive survivor disability benefits.

Questions about Survivor Disability Benefits? Ask Our Tulsa Social Security Lawyers

Survivor disability benefits are one small way to begin to adjust to life after losing a loved one. Our husband and wife team of disability attorneys in Oklahoma knows the power of family, which is why we provide our clients with the best opportunities to receive any lost benefits and maximize their Social Security survivor disability benefits.

If you need assistance with the application for survivor disability benefits or understanding your right to file a disability claim, contact our Tulsa SSDI attorneys to receive help from our experienced team of local Oklahoma disability professionals today.