NY Social Security Disability Lawyer Quoted in Newsday on Benefits for Non-Working Spouse
Carrie Mason-Draffen is the excellent Workplace Columnist for Newsday and I have been glad to help her over the years with questions from her readers on Social Security disability claims and New York workers compensation claims. Her most recent column in which I was quoted had to do with when a non-working spouse can obtain Social Security benefits.
Disabled Widow’s/Widowers Benefits can be collected on the deceased spouse’s earnings record if the disabled widow is: 1) disabled within 7 years of the deceased worker’s death and is between the ages of 50 – 60 when she becomes disabled and 2) was married to the deceased worker for at least 10 years (even if they were divorced prior to the onset of disability).
For example, Joan was married to Jim between 1990 to 2000 (10 years). Jim dies in 2005 of a heart attack. In 2010, Joan is currently age 52 and becomes disabled by multiple sclerosis. If Joan either never worked (perhaps a stay-at-home Mom) or her work record would produce a smaller disability benefit than on her ex-spouses work record (he was highly paid executive), she can apply for Disabled Widows’ Benefits.
This is an often over-looked benefit by many widows/widowers (especially divorced ones who have no reason to go to one of the the Social Security District offices here on Long Island after the death of an ex-spouse) and the help of an experienced Social Security Disability Claim lawyer can be invaluable in this situation.