Benefits for Widows

By Haliyma Barrow , last updated August 26, 2011

When a woman is widowed she is entitled to receive survivor benefits based on conditions such as disability and if her husband was working and paying social security taxes. In order to receive either one of these benefits the widow must fulfill certain requirements.

Social Security Survivor Benefits

A widow can receive full or reduced benefits upon reaching age 60. In cases where the widow is disabled, she will be entitled to receive benefits as early as age 50. Additionally, a widow under the age of 50 can receive benefits if she is taking care of the deceased husband's child who is under the age of 16 or disabled. In the case where the widow works, she is still eligible to receive benefits while being employed. Depending on your age, your benefits may be reduced if your salary is above a certain range. A widow who has been divorced from her deceased husband is also entitled to social security survivor benefits if their marriage lasted 10 years or more. She must also be age 50 (if disabled) or age 60 or older. Benefit rates for other survivors will not be affected if the widow is collecting benefits.

Benefits for Disabled Widows

A disabled widow is eligible to receive benefits upon the death of her husband once she meets certain requirements. Such requirements include being between the ages of 50 and 60, meeting the definition of disability for adults and once her disability started before the death of her husband or within seven years after his death. If you are caring for your husband's children and you are receiving social security benefits, you will be eligible to receive disability benefits if your disability starts before your social security payments end or within seven years after they end.

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