Most Social Security benefits are funded by Social Security tax that almost every American citizen pays when working. Part of this money helps build retirement accounts, and part helps to pay for other benefits, such as disability. Those who have paid these taxes are eligible to receive most Social Security benefits, and, based on their work, sometimes their families as well.
Social Security Disability
The Social Security Disability pays benefits to those who are disabled or blind. This program helps the eligible pay for their basic needs, such as food and clothing, and it works as a substitute of your previous income. To be eligible to receive these benefits, you cannot be working at your previous job or at any other type of job due to your disability or blindness. Only those who have paid Social Security tax can receive Social Security Disability benefits. Most individuals are required to have worked at least for 10 years to qualify for benefits. However, if you became disabled at a young age, you can qualify with fewer years of work.
Widowers and Social Security
In many cases, the Social Security Administration pays benefits to widows and widowers of those who have worked and paid Social Security tax. If you are a widower of an individual who paid these taxes, even if you have never worked and paid these taxes, you qualify to apply for Social Security benefits. Most of these benefits are basically the same, and they only change according to your age and how much your deceased spouse used to earn while working. You must also meet other requirements to receive these benefits, which may vary according to the program.
Social Security Disability and Widowers
You may be able to get Social Security Disability benefits based on your deceased spouse's work history if you meet all requirements to be eligible to this program. If you are disabled or blind, you cannot work, your disability will last for at least 24 months, you have already been disabled for five months and you are older than 62 years of age then you qualify to receive these benefits. If you have a disabled child who is younger than 16 years of age, and you take care of him, you qualify to receive these benefits before age 62. How much you get depends on your spouse's average lifetime earnings. Once you are approved, payments are usually made on the first of every month.
Although as a widow or widower you may able to receive Social Security Disability benefits based on your spouse's work and tax payment history, the Social Security Administration has a program created specifically to pay family members of deceased workers. This program is known as Survivor Benefits program. As a widow or widower, you qualify to receive survivor benefits at full retirement age (66 years old). You can receive reduced amounts of benefits if you retire before age 66. If you are disabled, you can receive survivor benefits at age 50, and if you care for a disabled child younger than age 16, you qualify to receive survivor benefits at any age.