Widow and Widower’s Benefits
Persons who must live with a mental or physical disability may experience the effects of the disability for the duration of their lives. The disabled individual is often not the only person who must deal with the issue, as family members often have to assist with daily activities and must either support the individual or rely on support from the person.
Individuals who are disabled may turn to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for financial assistance. If the person is unable to work or support themselves or their families, the SSA may issue Social Security disability payments to help. Family members may rely on disability payments to help pay for housing, food, transportation, and other important life needs.
If the an individual who has worked and paid taxes dies, his or her spouse and dependents may be able to collect benefits from the SSA that are considered to be “survivor’s benefits”. In addition, widows or widowers who become disabled themselves may qualify for support under the disabled widow’s plan.
In traditional survivor’s benefit cases, the family members may claim compensation from the SSA if the widow or widower reaches the age of retirement (usually 60 years old), or is of any age but is taking care of the deceased person’s child under the age of 16. Unmarried children who are under the age of18 and are in school full-time may also claim survivor’s benefits.
If the children of the deceased individual are disabled and were disabled before the age of 22, they may also claim survivor’s benefits without having to file separately and prove work history. Dependent parents who are over the age of 62 may also usually claim benefits.
In the case of widows or widowers who are themselves disabled, the SSA may allow them to claim benefits if they were disabled within six years of the individual’s death and meet the criteria of the SSA’s definition of disability.
Ultimately, Social Security benefits exist to help individuals who require financial support. Spouses, children, and dependent parents all may require assistance from the government, especially if they have been dependent on a disabled individual’s monthly benefits from the SSA. Individuals who have attempted to claim benefits and have been denied by the administration may choose to pursue an appeal to have their case reviewed.
If you have been wrongly denied Social Security benefits, it may be valuable to consult an experienced Social Security attorney to discuss your legal options. For more information on Social Security benefits and legal actions, contact the Indianapolis Social Security lawyers of the Charles D. Hankey Law Office, P.C.