How to receive SSD widow's benefits and other questions

Every person who is applying for Social Security disability benefits will have a lot of questions. Most Pennsylvania SSD applicants will be wondering, for example, if they can even qualify for benefits. Others will be wondering how much income they will likely receive. Other questions may be more unique to one's situation, such as understanding the requirements an individual satisfy in order to get disabled widow's benefits.

First, in order to qualify for disabled widow's benefits, an applicant has to be 50 years of age or over. Next, the disability had to have begun before the deceased spouse was 60. Also, the disability had to have begun no more than seven years after the latest of the following: the month the deceased spouse died; the last month the widow was entitled to receive survivor benefits based on being the custodial parent of the deceased spouse's child; or the month that the widow's own entitlement to receive SSD benefits expired because the widow was no longer disabled.

Another common question involves waiting times, and whether individuals must be disabled for a full year before getting SSD benefits. Fortunately, the answer to this is no. Individuals who are disabled now, and who expect to be unable to work for at least another year, can apply for SSD right now. Indeed, an SSD application can take months to be reviewed and decided upon. Also, once the application is approved, applicants can often receive a certain amount of back payments for the time that they were disabled prior to getting approved.

The SSD benefits application process can be complicated, time-consuming and much more in-depth than many Pennsylvania applicants care to know about. However, by completing an SSD application properly, applicants may have a higher likelihood of qualifying for benefits. When the SSD application process is successfully navigated, disabled individuals may also be able to qualify for a higher level of benefits than they originally believed.

Source:, "Social Security Q&A: Receiving Disabled Widow's Benefits", , June 29, 2014