Can My Sister In Law Continue To Collect Any Of My Brother's SSDI Benefits?

Oct 10 2019 - 6:42am

My brother passed away this week.
He was 58 and collecting ssdi. He had brain cancer. Hi wife is 55. Although they own a house, she has nothing else. Her job pays $15 per hour and she is full time.
Can she continue to collect any amount of his ssdi?
Thank you

Hi Bob,

I'm sorry for your loss.

No, your sister in law can't continue to collect any of your brother's Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. However, If she's disabled or caring for a child who is under age 16 or disabled and who qualifies for survivor benefits on your brother's record then she could potentially qualify for survivor benefits now. Otherwise, the earliest that she could receive benefits from your brother's account is when she reaches age 60. Widows who file at full retirement age (FRA) can be paid up to 100% of their deceased spouse's benefit rate, but if they file at age 60 their rate is reduced by 28.5%.

Assuming that your sister in law doesn't qualify for survivor benefits now she may want to consider using our software ( to explore her future options in order to determine her best filing strategy. Widows who are potentially eligible for both widow's benefits and for benefits on their own work record can claim one benefit early (i.e. as early as age 60 for widows benefits or age 62 for benefits on their own record) while allowing the other benefit to grow to a higher rate. Our software could help your brother's wife determine her best long term strategy for claiming benefits.

Best, Jerry