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Widow, Widower and Surviving Spouse disability benefits

Disability claims can be filed with the understanding that benefits will be based on the work history of a deceased spouse or former spouse. Disability claims for a widow, widower or surviving divorced spouse require that the deceased spouse or former spouse was fully insured at the time of their death. In order to be eligible, you must have been married for at least nine months if you are widowed or 10 years in case of divorce. You must be at least 50 years old and your disability must have begun within 7 years of the death of your spouse or former spouse. If your disabilities start within seven years of the time you were entitled to mother’s or father’s benefits, you are also still eligile for disability benefits as a widow, widower or divorced spouse. The end of the seven years is referred to as the end of the “prescribed period” and functions similar to the way “date last insured” operates in regular social security disability cases. Sometimes in widow or widower's cases, the Social Security Administration evaluates disability as of a “controlling date.” The “controlling date” is the latest date by which a widow or widower may become disabled and still be entitled to benefits for the earliest possible month. Proof of disability in these casesis based on a much more stringent definition of disability. You must prove that you are incapable of any gainful activity.