Can I Apply For Disabled Widow's Benefits And Still Keep My SSDI?

Jan 5 2019 - 5:03pm

I am a 55 year old widow and on disability (SSDI) with one child still in school. I have been collecting SSDI scene 1999. I have been in and out of the social Security office about various things one being about when to apply for Disable Widows Benifits. My son is collecting off my husbands SS and is getting $1995. My SSDI is $1052 with med taken out takes me down to $919. Can I apply for my DWB and still keep my SSDI?

Hi,

I can't say for sure without more information, but It sounds like there's a good chance that you'd qualify for disabled widow's benefits (DWB) now. If so, those benefits would be paid in addition to your Social Security disability benefits (SSDI). When a person who is receiving SSDI subsequently becomes eligible for DWB, their DWB benefit rate is normally calculated at 71.5% of the difference between their full SSDI rate and their deceased spouse's primary insurance amount (PIA), assuming that the latter amount is higher. And, if your son is getting a monthly child's benefit of $1995, that would indicate that your husband's PIA is roughly $2660 since surviving child benefits are calculated at 75% of the deceased parent's PIA.

Therefore, assuming that you meet the requirements for DWB (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0401.html) you would probably want to apply for those benefits as soon as possible. There is normally no advantage to waiting until a later age to apply for DWB if you are already receiving SSDI benefits. That's because if you do qualify for DWB benefits, the 28.5% reduction for age that applies to DWB benefits would be removed when you reach full retirement age (FRA) as long as you're already receiving SSDI benefits when you start drawing DWB.

As I mentioned before, though, I don't have enough information about your case to give you any definite advice. You'll probably want to contact Social Security as soon as possible to discuss your options with them.

Best, Jerry