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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 20, 2012.

Question

My ex-husband of 25 1/2 yrs, passed away of a massive heart attack july 2011. We have a 18 yr.old disabled child together that is living with me drawing SSI Diability. Would I qualify for SS as a widow? I will be caring for our child the rest of her life.He re-married 5 weeks before his death.

Answer

There are many factors that need to be considered in order to determine if you can receive survivors benefits. If you are age 60 or older and married for at least 10 years, you should be eligible for survivors benefits. If you are disabled, you eligibility age drops to age 50. Since you are caring for a disabled child over age 16, there may be a limit on what you can receive per month.

His remarriage should not impact your benefits.

Please go to your nearest Social Security Office to meet with an SSA representative to run these numbers for you so you can understand what you are entitled. When you are there, also inquire about Medicare for you and your child to review your coverage eligibility.

Unfortunately this is very complicated. If you find this overwhelming, you might be able to get some help through your local Senior Center or Hospital who might be able to refer you to someone to help guide you through this.


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