Program Description

The Social Security Disabled Widow(er)’s Insurance Benefits are a federally funded program administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are paid to the disabled widow or widower of a deceased worker who had earned enough Social Security credits.

General Program Requirements

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

If you would like to find out if you may be eligible for any of the benefits SSA administers, take SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

Once you have completed the eligibility screening questionnaire, you will be provided with a list of benefits for which you may be eligible. Print this page for your records before going to the application site.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivor’s benefits. For application information, please visit the How To Apply page.

Program Contact Information

Visit SSA’s Publications home page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

Or for additional information on this and any SSA benefit, call:
1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)