How do I apply for a Social Security Disability widow's claim?

How do I apply for a Social Security Disability widow's claim?

The first step in the disabled widow-widower's claim is to contact the Social Security Administration to inquire about your potential entitlement to Social Security widow/widower's disability benefits.

There are some factors of entitlement which must be met before you can be entitled to a disability benefit based on your deceased spouse's earnings.

You must be between the age of 50 and 60 to apply for disabled widow-widower's benefits. Also the widow/widower's benefit must be higher than you own potential or current disability benefit amount. Additionally, if you are a divorced, disabled widow-widower, the above factors of entitlement still apply and you must have been married to your ex-spouse for ten years.

Once the non-medical requirements are met, you will need to provide the usual disability interview information regarding your medical or psychological conditions, and work activities. Your claim will be forwarded to the state disability agency (that handles disability determinations for the social security administration) for a medical decision if an initial medical determination is needed.

However, if you are already entitled to disability based on your own earnings or based on need (SSI), you may not be required to provide medical information for a medical decision and your claim will not be sent to the disability agency.

In these cases, Social Security will usually adopt your initial disability determination, based on your current entitlement to disability benefits.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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