In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least age 50, but not yet age 60.
- Have been married to the deceased spouse for not less than 9 months immediately prior to the day in which the deceased spouse died, unless an exception applies.
- Be unmarried, unless the marriage can be disregarded.
- Not be entitled to an equal or higher Social Security retirement benefit based on your own work.
Based on the information you gave us about your age, your current marital status and length of marriage to your deceased spouse indicate that you meet most of the requirements for Social Security disabled widow's or widower's benefits. However, since you are working, you may not meet the legal definition of disability. Also, your former spouse must have enough work credits and you must not be getting a higher benefit on your own work record.
To see the listing of impairments that can qualify for disability, visit the "Adult Listing of Impairments" page. Even if your condition is not included in the listing, you still could get benefits. To find out more about how Social Security decides if you are disabled, visit SSA’s Publications Page and review "Disability," Social Security Publication Number 05-10029.