The disabled widow or widower of a wage earner who died fully and currently insured for Social Security benefits may be entitled to benefits on the wage earner's record. The basic requirements of such entitlement are:
- The claimant must be at least 50 years old and be under a disability the began no later than 7 years after the wage earner's death
- The claimant must be unmarried, unless he or she remarried
after attaining age 50 and was under a disability at the
time of the remarriage
- The claimant must not be eligible for another Social Security
benefit that is equal to or larger than the disabled widows/'widowers'
A divorced spouse of a deceased wage earner may qualify for
disabled widows/'widowers' benefits only if the marriage lasted
at least 10 years and all other eligibility requirements
In cases where there are no natural or adopted children of the
marriage, a disabled widow or widower is not entitled to benefits
unless the marriage occurred more than nine months prior to the
date of the wage earner's death.
The benefit paid to disabled widows/widowers is based on the earnings record of the deceased wage earner and is a percentage of the wage earner's basic benefit amount.
The standards for proving disability by disabled widows/widowers are the same as those for ordinary wage earners.