Should I File As A Disabled Widow Or As A Mother With Children In Care?

May 25 2017 - 6:47am

I am wondering, I am a disabled surviving widow of a deceased worker (he became disabled due to cancer). I was married to him 13 years. We have 2 children, both with intellectual disabilities whom are disabled adult children and collecting DAC benefits. Is it in my best interest to file for widowers benefit at age 50 ( I am 48 now) or to file now based on my caring for the disabled adult children of my deceased ex-husband? Carol


It would probably be better to draw benefits on the basis of having a child in care, which are called mother's benefits. Mother's benefits are paid at a rate of 75% of the deceased worker's primary insurance amount (PIA), whereas disabled widow's benefits are paid at a rate of 71.5% of the worker's PIA. The answer may be different, however, if you are entitled to disability benefits on your own record. Also, if you have 2 children already drawing survivor benefits, the family maximum will almost certainly reduce the rates payable to you and your children when you become entitled to benefits (

The maximization software available on this website is programmed to handle calculations like those involved with your family, so you may want to use it to explore your filing options.

Best, Jerry