The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers special benefit programs that allow disabled widows and widowers to obtain benefits based on their deceased spouse’s earnings record. Like most disability benefits offered by the SSA, however, obtaining disabled widow and widower benefits in Texas is difficult, which makes it wise to consult with an experienced disability attorney.
At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, PC, we have extensive experience helping clients obtain Social Security disability benefits, including disabled widows and widowers benefits. If you are seeking benefits under your deceased spouse’s work history, our legal team will handle all the details of your claim and help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
Although obtaining benefits is challenging and claims are frequently denied, working with our experienced disability lawyer will stand you in good stead. When you become our client, we will provide you with compassionate, efficient representation and fight to protect your rights. Contact our El Paso Office today for a consultation.
Obtaining Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits in Texas
To qualify for disabled widows and widowers benefit, you must (1) be between the ages of 50 and 60 and (2) meet the SSA’s disability criteria. Also, your disability must have begun within 7 years of your spouse’s death, and you must meet one of the SSA’s definitions of a spouse:
- Legal Spouse — You were legally married under the laws of Texas at the time of your spouse’s death
- Putative Spouse — You believed in good faith that you were legally married to your spouse at this time of his or her death but subsequently learned the marriage was invalid
- Deemed Spouse — You had a marriage ceremony but a legal error prevented the marriage from being considered valid
In addition, your marriage must have lasted at least 9 months, with limited exceptions. Finally, disabled widows and widowers benefits are also available if you were divorced, as long as the marriage lasted at least 10 years.
Filing Claim for Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits in Texas
Your benefit claim must be filed with a local field office or online. You should know that all the information must be completed accurately, and the application also includes a number of questionnaires about your work history and medical condition. In addition, as part of the application process, you must submit medical evidence provided by your doctor that includes a diagnosis and prognosis of your condition.
Ultimately, you must have a qualifying impairment, and the SSA will likely require you to undergo a Consultative Exam (CE) with an independent physician to make a final determination.
Given that benefit claims are frequently denied for both technical and medical reasons, it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer handle your claim.
At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, we are well-versed in the eligibility requirements for widows and widowers benefits and have a track record of helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve.
You Must Be Disabled to Obtain Benefits
To qualify, you must be disabled, as that term is defined by the SSA. First, your impairment must be expected to last at least one year or result in your death. Second, your condition must prevent you from performing any substantial gainful activity (SGA). While you are permitted to work, your monthly income cannot exceed $1,310 ($ 2,190 for blind individuals).
In addition, the SSA maintains a listing of qualifying impairments (the Blue Book). If your condition is included, you automatically qualify, provided you have supporting medical evidence. You may also qualify if your condition is not listed but determined to be medically equivalent to a listed impairment.
This is why it is crucial to work with the Law Office of Carey Thompson. Our disability attorney will collaborate with your doctor to compile a thorough medical record demonstrating that you are disabled and that your medical condition began within the 7-year window.
We will also enlist the support of medical and vocational experts who can provide testimony about the severity of your condition and how it prevents you from working and performing daily activities. Rest assured that we will always work in your best interests and handle your claim with care.
Contact Our Texas Disabled Widow and Widower Benefits Attorneys
Although initial benefit claims are frequently denied, working with an experienced disability lawyer increases the likelihood of your claim being approved. At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, we will handle all aspects of your claim, from assisting with the application to filing your initial claim to the disability appeal and the disability hearing.
We know that disability benefits can be vital after the death of a spouse and will see to it that you get all the medical and financial resources you need. We understand your physical and financial struggles and will not charge any attorneys’ fees until we win benefits for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.