Are You Able to Claim Social Security Survivor Benefits as a Widow After Remarriage?

by Oct 19, 2018Disability Benefits

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If you receive Social Security survivor benefits as a widow or widower, you might be able to keep your benefits if you remarry. Whether you qualify depends on a number of factors: your age, your disability status, and whether you were still married at the time of the primary beneficiary’s death.

Here are the three most likely scenarios for what will happen to your survivor benefits after you get remarried:

You Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a disability program specifically for those with limited incomes and assets. SSI applicants must meet the same medical requirements as people applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). But while SSDI applicants are required to have a sufficient work history, SSI applicants must prove they have a financial need.

If you receive SSI benefits as a widow or widower, and you get remarried, your household income may change with the addition of your new spouse’s income. Your spouse’s income and assets get added yours to form a new total. This total is what will determine if you continue to qualify for SSI after your remarriage. If the addition of your spouse’s resources puts you over the program’s limits, you could lose your SSI benefits.

You Receive SSDI Benefits as a Surviving Spouse

If you are a widow or widower receiving SSDI benefits as a surviving spouse, remarriage might affect those benefits. If you are not disabled and you remarry before you turn 60 years old, you will lose the survivor benefits you were receiving from your previous marriage. This is true whether you were receiving benefits as a widow or widower, or as a divorced widow or widower.

If you are disabled and receiving SSDI benefits as a surviving spouse, you can remarry as young as 50 years old and keep your benefits. If you remarry before you turn 50, however, you will lose your survivor benefits.

What Happens If You Remarry and Then Subsequently Get Divorced

If you are not disabled and remarry before age 60, or you are disabled and remarry before age 50, and your new marriage ends, you might be able to resume the survivor benefits you received before getting remarried. As long as you still meet the requirements you met before your remarriage, you can start collecting benefits again the month following your divorce.

You Receive Benefits as a Divorced Spouse

If you receive Social Security benefits from a former spouse who is not deceased but from whom you are divorced, you will stop receiving those benefits when you remarry, regardless of how old you are.

For Help With Your Social Security Disability Questions, Call the Disability Advantage Group

If you have questions about your Social Security disability benefits or want to schedule a free case evaluation with Social Security disability attorney, call the Disability Advantage Group, at 865-566-0800. Our Social Security disability attorneys can help you collect and retain the benefits you deserve.