In general, I did not see a length of marriage requirement if you were married to your spouse (i.e., not divorced). If you were divorced, you must have been married at least 10 years to collect survivor benefits. I did not see a special provision for survivor benefits for victims of Lou Gehrig's disease. However, victims of Lou Gehrig's disease may qualify for Medicare before age 65.
In general, in order to receive survivors benefits, the deceased worker must have earned the required number of Social Security credits.
A widow or widower may be able to receive full benefits at age 65 if born before 1940. (The age to receive full benefits is gradually increasing to age 67 for widows and widowers born in 1940 or later.) Reduced widow or widower benefits can be received as early as age 60. If the surviving spouse is disabled, benefits can begin as early as age 50.
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