Can I collect Soc. Sec. Disability Benefits from my deceased husband?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Langhorne, PA

I am a 53 yr old & have been a widow for the past 5 1/2 yrs. I am unable to work due to severe carpal tunnel syndrome & suffer from debilitating depression and anxiety attacks. It's so bad I stay in my bedroom 99% of the time. I've been married for most of my life and only worked a couple yrs when I first got out of high school. Is there any way I can get benefits from my deceased husband. Another problem is that Soc Sec wants you to be evaluated by doctors. I have applied for Medical Assistance 4 times & have been denied. I have no med ins or money to go to a doctor. I just don't know what to do. I feel like I'm ready to lose my mind. I hope you can help me or provide with information that will help. Thank you for your time. Have a great day!!!! Eveltn

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Clifford Michael Farrell

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . For a widow between the age of 50 and 60, you can apply for disabled widow's benefits on your late husband's SS# - as long as you have not remarried. And, at age 60, you can get regular widow's retirment benefits.

    The lack of treatment may be a problem. SSA looks almost exclusively to the medical evidence to decide if you meet disability requirements. With no medical evidence, that means they may send you to one or more of their doctors to be exmained, and their doctors are not always the most helpful. But, if you have notreating doctors, you need to go to those exams.

    You may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts of your case and your medical care with counsel. If you do not have an attorney, there are a number of good attorneys in your area, some of whom you can find here on Avvo. You may also contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is

    In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

    Their link is:

    You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131.

    Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.

    I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

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