Losing a spouse is an event many people never recover from, particularly when the loss occurs later in life, after spending years or decades together. When the surviving spouse is disabled, preventing them from working or earning enough to sustain themselves, the loss is even more overwhelming.
Disabled California widows or widowers need time to grieve and heal, without the stress and worry about how they will manage without their spouse’s income and financial assistance. The Social Security Widow(er)’s insurance program was designed to provide disabled California widows and widowers with the financial assistance they need after the loss of their spouse.
Some basic requirements
However, there are certain conditions that must be met to qualify for these benefits. First, you must be between 50 and 59 years old, and your deceased spouse must have earned enough work credits to qualify for social security benefits.
You must have been married to your deceased spouse for at least 9 months immediately before the day your spouse passed away. There are exceptions to this rule, and it may help to speak with a social security attorney to see if one applies to your situation. You must also not have remarried since your spouse’s death.
Your employment history may impact your qualification
If you are working yourself, this may affect your ability to receive widow or widower’s benefits. Your alleged disability may be analyzed, and it may be determined that you are not legally disabled. A disability is easier to prove if it prevents you from working, or if you were not working at the time of your spouse’s death and remain unemployed.
Finally, you may not qualify for widow or widower’s benefits if your employment history entitles you to an equal or higher social security benefit than the widow or widowers benefits you would receive.
This is a basic outline of the main requirements to qualify for widow or widower’s benefits. With exceptions applying to some of the rules, your specific situation should be reviewed and analyzed to make a proper determination as to your ability to claim the benefits.