Shouldn't I Be Eligible For Both SSDI And Disabled Widow's Benefits?

Aug 9 2019 - 6:12pm

Husband of 30 years passed Aug 2018
Oct 2018 I applied for SSDI benefits and also over the phone SS applied me for Widow benefits
Feb 2019 approved for Disability and Disabled Widow Benefits
Today I received a letter stating I was over paid and not entitled to a Widows benefit
I know you can’t double stack but aren’t SSDI and Widow Benefits out of two different funds ?


I'm sorry for your loss.

You may be able to draw a partial disabled widow's benefit (DWB) in addition to your Social Security disability (SSDI) benefit, but only if your DWB rate is higher than your SSDI rate. It also depends in part on your initial month of entitlement (MOE) to each of those benefits. If your MOE is the same for both benefits or your SSDI MOE is earlier than you DWB MOE, then your unreduced DWB benefit rate would be calculated by subtracting your primary insurance amount (PIA) from your deceased husband's PIA. The result, if positive, would then be reduced by 28.5% and be paid in addition to your SSDI rate. By the way, a person's PIA is equal to their full SSDI rate or their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing at full retirement age (FRA).

On the other hand, if your DWB MOE precedes your SSDI MOE, then your potential DWB rate would be calculated by reducing your husband's PIA by 28.5%. And, you could only be paid a partial DWB benefit if that reduced amount is higher than your full SSDI rate. I can't tell you whether or not you should be able to draw a partial DWB benefit without knowing both your PIA and your husband's PIA as well as your MOEs for both SSDI and DWB benefits. If you think that you should be eligible for some DWB benefits in addition to your SSDI benefits, you may want to consider filing a request for an appeal of Social Security's determination (

Best, Jerry