Should I Have Been Able To Collect Benefits Sooner?

Sep 10 2019 - 3:05pm

Hi Mr Larry.my husband die when he was 58 and at that time I was 45 and working as told me that I had to be 60 to file for widow benefits. I because disable at the age of 58 and now IAM 60 I file for widow benefits they made a decision and told me that I am approved but they can't pay me . I received 1872 a month my husband was also in the military for 7 years

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Unfortunately, I can't really give you much advice you because I don't have enough information to know if you could have qualified for benefits sooner.

You are normally required to be at least age 60 in order to qualify for widow's benefits, but you can potentially qualify for disabled widow's benefits (DWB) as early as age 50. In order to qualify for DWB, though, in addition to being disabled and being at least age 50 you normally must have become disabled within 7 years of your spouse's death. If your husband died when you were age 45 and you didn't become disabled until you were 58, you wouldn't qualify for DWB benefits unless you previously received survivor benefits because you had a child in your care who was eligible for survivor benefits on your husband's record. If you did previously receive child in care survivor benefits, then you could have potentially qualified for DWB benefits if you became disabled within 7 years of when those benefits ended.

DWB benefits can be paid for up to 12 months retroactively from the month of your application, so if you filed for widow's benefits at age 60 and would have qualified for DWB benefits before then Social Security should be able to pay you at least some retroactive DWB benefits. If you think that you should have been eligible for DWB benefits based on the requirements outlined above, or if you disagree with Social Security's determination on your claim for widow's benefits, you should consider filing a request for appeal. For more information on the appeals process, refer to the following Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf.

Best, Jerry