Disabled Widow’s / Widower’s Benefits (DWB)

Disabled Widow’s / Widower’s benefits (DWB), also called Retirement Survivors Disability Insurance (RSDI), is also funded by the FICA tax, which is the payroll tax paid by employees and employers. You may be entitled to DWB if your deceased spouse worked long enough to have earned sufficient quarters of coverage to be insured. The number of years that your deceased spouse must have worked for you to be eligible for widow’s/widower’s benefits depends upon the age of your deceased spouse when he or she died. The maximum number of years that your deceased spouse had to work to be insured is 10 years to earn 40 quarters of coverage.

To qualify for DWB, you must meet the following requirements:

If you were married to your spouse when he or she died, and…

    • You are be between ages 50 and 60 and you must have become disabled before your spouse’s death or within seven years after the death of your spouse
    • You were been married to the deceased spouse for not less than nine months immediately prior to the day in which the deceased spouse died, unless an exception applies
    • You did not remarry before age 50 unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment
    • You are not otherwise eligible for higher benefits on your own or another’s earning record

                              – OR –

If you were divorced when he or she died, and…

    • You are between ages 50 and 60 and must have become disabled before your spouse’s death or within seven years after the death of your spouse
    • You were married to your spouse for 10 years or longer
    • You are currently unmarried
    • You are not otherwise eligible for higher benefits on your own or another’s earning record

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