When Your Spouse Dies, Do You Get Their Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security Disability Benefits for Family of Deceased Recipients in Chicago & Illinois

One of the hardest times in life is when you and your family lose someone close. Our thoughts are with you as you seek your way back to peace.

If your husband or wife died, on top of all the ways you miss them every day, you may be dealing with serious financial uncertainty.

If you can show Social Security that you have a qualifying disability—you may be able to receive benefits to help you stabilize your life.

This applies to husbands, wives and disabled adult children of a Social Security Disability recipient who passed away. But you have to go through multiple steps of proving that your own health problems are severe enough to be awarded benefits.

Nash Disability Law has helped thousands of people in the Chicago area win disability benefits. For no fee until you win, our disability lawyers can be your guides in this process—with respect and understanding for you in a difficult time.


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When Can a Widow Collect Her Husband’s Social Security? Or a Widower After His Wife Dies?

As a spouse of a deceased partner who worked and paid enough into Social Security, you can collect benefits based partly on their Social Security record if you qualify for disability.

This applies if you’re between ages 50 and 59. You can receive 71.5% of the disability amount that your late husband or wife received.

Social Security says, “We use the same definition of disability for surviving spouses as we do for workers.”

You’ll need to apply for disability benefits. Which means you must show:

  • You have severe health impairments.
  • Your health makes it impossible to work any significant amount.
  • Your condition cannot be expected to improve in less than a year.

You prove these points using medical records, work background details and more. This is where it’s extremely helpful to have an experienced Chicago disability attorney from the Nash team working on your case.

If you’re trying to understand more about benefits that can help you stay afloat after the loss of a partner, get a free consultation from Nash Disability Law.

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Can You Collect Your Parent’s Social Security Disability When They Die?

If you’re the child of someone who received Social Security Disability benefits before they died, and you have a disability, you could receive what Social Security calls “disabled adult child” benefits.

These benefits can apply whether your parent is deceased or living, and whether they received Social Security Disability or retirement benefits.

The idea is that if you developed work-stopping impairments at a young age, you may never have gotten the chance to work, pay into the Social Security system, and earn credits under that system on your own.

So you can get financial assistance based on the Social Security record of your parent.

This is when you qualify as a disabled adult child:

  • You’re at least 18.
  • You have health problems that meet Social Security’s definition of disability.
  • Your conditions that prevent you from working began before you were 22.
  • You’re not married.
  • At least one parent had worked and paid enough taxes to be eligible for some form of Social Security benefits themselves.

Nash Disability Law can help you apply for disabled adult child benefits, improve your financial stability and reclaim a measure of peace in your life.

Sometimes our Chicago disability lawyers see another situation involving deceased family members and Social Security Disability: when a person dies while they were still applying for benefits.

Because the process can take a long time, quite sadly, about 10,000 people die each year while waiting for their disability appeals hearings.

If the type of benefits they were seeking is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Nash Disability Law can add a relative to the claim—including a spouse, child, parent or the estate—and possibly secure some benefits to help the family.

For Chicago area families trying to understand what you can receive, what you should claim, and how to get financial support so you can move forward, reach out to us at Nash.

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If you were denied – or if you still need to apply for SSI benefits – call us now.

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