In most instances, an individual may not collect widow’s benefits, along with the full amount of their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, so long as an applicant satisfies the necessary eligibility requirements, they may recover the higher of these two benefits.
Applying for benefits in the first place is oftentimes a lengthy and complicated process. Therefore, you should have a knowledgeable Orange County SSDI benefits attorney always representing you. First, your lawyer can determine your eligibility for these benefits. Next, if you’re eligible, your lawyer can file the necessary paperwork and pursue the full amount of benefits you deserve to receive. Finally, if an insurance company denies your benefits application, your attorney can help you file an appeal at the appropriate time.
Your Eligibility for SSDI Benefits
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, an individual must ordinarily suffer from a long-term illness or injury. Moreover, that injury or illness must prevent them from working at any substantial gainful activity (SGA). This typically means that they cannot perform work at any job, in any capacity.
To demonstrate that you suffer a long-term condition that prevents you from engaging in a SGA, you must have a qualified medical provider on board in your case. That provider must also be willing to state in writing, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that your condition prevents you from working.
In addition to satisfying these requirements, you must have paid into the Social Security System long enough, via taxes, to be eligible for SSDI benefits.
Receiving SSDI Benefits Before Becoming a Widow
In some instances, individuals already receive SSDI benefits, due to their disability, before their spouse dies. After your spouse passes away, you can begin receiving a widow’s survivor benefit on a monthly basis. The amount that you ultimately recover in benefits will be the higher of the two benefit amounts. For example, if the amount you receive in SSDI benefits is higher than your monthly widow’s benefit, you will continue receiving your full SSDI benefits check every month.
However, if your widow’s benefit is higher than your monthly SSDI benefits check, then the Social Security Administration (SSA) will forward you an excess survivor benefit along with your monthly SSDI benefits check. The difference between your monthly SSDI check and your widow’s benefits equals the excess amount of money that you receive.
Becoming a Widow Before Becoming Disabled
In some instances, an individual loses their spouse before becoming eligible for SSDI benefits. When that happens, the SSA will make the final determination about your disability benefit amount. You can then receive the higher of the two benefit amounts.
Call a California Disability Benefits Lawyer Today
If you are currently in the process of applying for SSDI or widow’s benefits, it is vital that you have a knowledgeable SSDI benefits attorney on board with you. Your lawyer can determine your eligibility and help you file the necessary application materials to get you the full benefits you deserve.