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How do survivors' benefits work for Social Security Disability?

Social Security offers a program called survivors' benefits in which the surviving spouse of someone receiving Social Security benefits may be eligible to receive their benefits on death. If your spouse has passed and you are left figuring out how to cope with life alone in your Michigan home, you may need the help benefits can provide. If your spouse was receiving Social Security Disability benefits, however, how does that change your eligiblity for survivors' benefits? Are you able to apply to receieve your spouse's disability benefits as a widow or widower?

For general application of rules regarding Social Security Disability and survivors' benefits, SSA.gov clarifies that if you, as the surviving spouse, are over the age of 60, you are eligible to apply to receive your deceased spouse's benefit payments. However, what if you yourself are disabled?

If you are disabled, the age to be eligible for benefits lowers to 50. However, you must undergo the same assessments as any other applicant for Social Security Disability benefits to determine if you have a mental or physical health condition that is chronic, persistent and debilitating enough to qualify as a disability eligible for benefits disbursement. This condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months, or lifelong until your death. It must also be a factor in preventing you from securing and maintaining a job, or being able to fulfill the requirements of a job.

This blog post is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substittue for legal advice.

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