The death of a beloved spouse is devastating. Coping with the emotional loss of a spouse while attempting to provide for your family is complicated, especially when the deceased spouse was the main financial provider. If you were dependent on a loved one who passed away, you could be entitled to widow or widower benefits provided by the Social Security Administration. Widow or widower benefits, also called survivor benefits, help surviving spouses meet their financial needs.

Have you lost a spouse or loved one on whom you were financially dependent? If so, the Disability Advocates Group is here to help you apply for benefits. Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers have helped many California residents obtain the widow and widower benefits to which they are entitled. Our legal team will help you apply for and receive survivor benefits so you can focus on the grieving process and celebrating your loved one’s life. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can help you. 

The Benefit of Applying for Widow/Widower Benefits

The Social Security Administration provides survivor benefits to assist surviving spouses who’ve lost their family wage earner. The survivor benefit program provides families with much-needed income after their loved one passes away. Receiving survivor benefits can help a family survive financially after their loved one’s death. If you are a surviving spouse, you may be entitled to these important monthly benefits. At Disability Advocates Group, we can review your case and advise you on whether you may be entitled to benefits.

Survivors Benefits Eligibility

Certain family members are eligible for survivor benefits, including widows and widowers, children, and dependent parents. Divorced widows and widowers can be eligible for survivor benefits as well. Survivors who apply for benefits must prove that they have enough work credits to qualify for benefits. The number of work credits the deceased individual needs depends on his or her age at his or her death. The younger the deceased individual was at his or her time of death, the fewer work credits he or she needs. 

The surviving spouse is entitled to full survivor benefits when he or she is at the full retirement age. The full retirement age is 66 for those born between 1945 and 1956 and 67 for those born in 1962 or later. The surviving spouse is entitled to reduced survivor benefits when he or she is age 60 or older. When a surviving spouse has a qualifying medical disability, he or she can enjoy survivor benefits beginning at age 50.

When a widow or widower is responsible for taking care of a child under the age of 16, or a disabled child, he or she can receive survivor benefits at any age. The children of deceased parents are entitled to survivor benefits when they are under the age of 18. A child who is up to age 19 and attending school full time can also receive benefits. When a worker with dependent parents dies, the parents may qualify for survivor benefits when the deceased spouse provided them with at least half of their income, and when they are over age 62.

Finally, when a child became disabled before age 22, he or she is entitled to benefits at any age. In some rare cases, the Social Security Administration will pay benefits for grandchildren, stepchildren, stepgrandchildren, or adopted children. Disabled children whose surviving parent has limited resources and income may also be eligible for additional Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

What Are the Survivor Benefits for Widowers?

Eligible surviving spouses are entitled to partial survivor benefits when they turn 60 and full survivor benefits when they reach full retirement age. When a surviving spouse is disabled, he or she may qualify for disabled widow benefits earlier than age 60. The Social Security Administration provides disabled surviving spouses with disabled widow benefits (DWB). 

Surviving spouses must prove that their deceased spouse paid enough Social Security taxes into the system to be eligible. Survivors must also be at least 50 years old and prove that their disability started within seven years of their spouse’s death, also known as the prescribed period. If a surviving spouse became disabled soon after his or her spouse’s death but didn’t turn fifty within seven years of her spouse’s death, he or she will need to wait until age 60 to apply for benefits. 

Surviving widows are entitled to 71.5 percent of their deceased spouse’s SSDI benefit amount when no children are collecting on their husbands’ records. The surviving spouse must have a disability that prevents him or her from engaging in a substantial amount of work. The surviving spouse will need to show that there are no other jobs he or she can do, including jobs that do not require lifting or walking.

Why You Need a Widow/Widower Benefit Lawyer

When applicants apply for survivor benefits without a lawyer’s help, they often make errors that result in a denial of their claim. An experienced survivor benefits lawyer helps clients obtain all of the necessary supporting documentation and file all of the required paperwork. At Disability Advocates Group, we will ensure that your application is free of any incorrect information and that it includes all of the correct ID and code numbers. We will ensure that your application includes all of the relevant medical details that show how your disability affects you, along with a complete work history. We will represent you effectively in your appeals hearing. 

Contact a California Widow/Widower Benefits Lawyer Today

At Disability Advocates Group, we understand that losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, especially when he or she was the sole or primary financial provider. We have an in-depth understanding of all of the federal regulations involved in obtaining widow/widower benefits in California. 

Our legal team helps clients through the entire process of applying for benefits to receiving benefits. Should the Social Security Administration deny your claim, we will appeal the denial promptly. Contact our California widow and widower benefits lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.