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Date Add : 03-30-2011 

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Social Security Question:

Ex spouse disability

Social Security Answer:

My brothers wife has been disabled since 1999 and had not paid enough in to qualify for disabilitly benefits on her own, they say she can't get anything from by brother unless he dies. Her ex husband recently passed away and they filed for disabiltily off of the ex-husband whom she had all of her children with, and again she is denied. They say she has been divorced from him too long. Is there such a law and where do I find a copy of the law? My sister in law had a massive stroke in 1999 and has been bed ridden and paralyzed on the left side for all of these years. My brother has a good job and makes good wages but he is in very poor health and should probably be on disability himself, he has uncontrolled diabetes, peripheral nueropathy and his kidneys are starting to fail. They have no help and I do not understand why my sister in law can not get disability off of her ex husband now that he's deceased.


Support Replied ~ 03-21-2011 16:40:04

Dear Darlene:
So sorry to hear of all your heartache...Your sister-in-law filed for disabled widows from her first husband, but needs to be "unmarried" which she wasn't....ALSO there is a period that either the date of death or entitlement to mothers benefits had to be with in 7 years. That is what SS was talking about when they said that she had been divorced too long.....It did not have to do with her being divorced so much as her being remarried. Even if she were to divorce your brother, she would not get disabled widows but she could get widows if she was married to him (the deceased ex) for over 10 years and she was age 60. It is very hard to be in the situation she is in....too disabled to get her own quarters....If she were to go into a nursing home, I think Medicaid would step in and help (unless your brother was really well off). I don't want to give any advice on that aspect because different states have different laws and it is very complicated. If you need further explanation, please write, but she cannot get disabled widows in her present situation.....Sorry, Carol

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DISCLAIMER - You should consult with your local Social Security Office before acting upon any information received as a response to your question on "Social Security Advisor".

"Social Security Advisor" is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is offered with the understanding that neither the publisher nor the author is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment or other professional advice or services.

Information obtained from RetirementCommunity.com, including e-mail responses from "Social Security Advisor" should be considered as general educational information. You must never rely upon the advice given here. Your individual situation may not fit the generalizations discussed. Only your local Social Security office can evaluate your individual situation and give you advice.


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