If a worker dies, benefits may be payable to their widow or widower if the following conditions are met:
- The worker earned enough Social Security Credits;
- The widow(er) is between the ages of 50 and 60;
- The widow(er) is “disabled” under the Social Security Act; and
- The widow(er)’s disability started either before the worker died or within seven years after the worker’s death.
If all criteria are satisfied, the widow(er) will be eligible to receive benefits under the worker’s Social Security Number (“SSN”). This amount could be quite substantial if the worker had a high income and worked a long time. However, if the widow(er) is already receiving Social Security benefits under his or her own SSN, they cannot receive the full amount under BOTH the worker’s SSN and his or her own SSN. He or she will simply receive whichever amount is higher.