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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

When do disabled widow(er)'s benefits begin?

514. When do disabled widow(er)'s benefits begin?

The first month of your entitlement to disabled widow(er)'s benefits is the latest of the following months:

  1. If a waiting period is required, the sixth consecutive full calendar month of disability; or

  2. If a waiting period is not required, the first full calendar month of disability;

  3. The month your insured spouse died;

  4. The twelfth month before the month you applied for benefits (see §1513 for retroactivity of application); or

  5. The month you turn 50.

(See §409 for when disabled widow(er)'s benefits end.)

Last Revised: Aug. 5, 2003

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Disabled Widow.

September 13, 2012 by Guest

I am currently looking at retiring due to a disabling work related injury. I know i am entitled to disability retirement from my employer if they don't find me another position, but am I able to get widow's benefit before age 60? My husband passed away in 2007 and I had planned on retiring at age 60 and drawing my widow's benefit then. This injury has changed many things and not sure what I am entitled to.

Survivor benefits for disabled widow

September 13, 2012 by David Luhman

You can apply for disabled widow's benefits if you meet this criteria :

  • You are between ages 50 and 60,
  • Your condition meets the definition of disability for adults, and
  • The disability started before or within seven years of the worker's death

The SSA uses the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.


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