What Do I Qualify For Through Social Security?

Aug 24 2019 - 11:30am

I lost my husband last week, I am a disabled veteran on social security disability, my husband was much older than me, and was collecting his retirement, I'm his second wife, His pension companies told me when he retired his first wife was the beneficiary, but she died first, what do I qualify for through social security?


I'm sorry for your loss.

Anything that your husband's first wife can collect on his record is irrelevant with regard to your potential eligibility for Social Security widow's benefits. Since you're already drawing Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits, you could potentially qualify for additional disabled widow's benefits (DWB) starting with the earlier of a) the month of your husband's death or b) the month that you turn age 50. Or, if you're at least age 60 you can qualify for regular widow's benefits. However, you will only qualify for additional benefits if your husband's primary insurance amount (PIA) is higher than your full SSDI rate.

If you are eligible for any widow's or disabled widow's benefits It would almost certainly be advantageous to claim them as soon as possible. Widow's and DWB benefits are reduced for age if you start drawing them prior to full retirement age (FRA), but the reduction for age is removed at FRA provided that you were already drawing SSDI benefits when you started drawing the widow's or DWB benefits.

Best, Jerry