Program Description

Are you the widow(er) of a spouse who worked long enough to earn Social Security credits? If so, you may be able to get benefits on their record.

Learn more on the Survivors Planner: If You Are the Worker's Widow or Widower page.

General Program Requirements

As a widow(er), you may qualify for one of the following:

  • Full benefits at your full retirement age for survivors.
  • Reduced benefits as early as age 60.
  • Full benefits as early as age 50 if you're disabled AND the disability started before or within seven years of your spouse's death.

Application Process

Visit the Information You Need to Apply for Widow's, Widower's, or Surviving Divorced Spouse's Benefits - Form SSA-10 page for details on how to apply.

If you want to apply for disability benefits as a survivor, call the phone number below to make an appointment.

To find out what other Social Security) benefits you may qualify for, use the SSA Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) on When you complete the questionnaire, you get a list of benefits to review. You can print this page for your records.

When you know which benefits you may apply for, visit the Apply for Social Security Benefits page to apply online. You can also call the phone number below to learn more about benefits or to set up an appointment.

Last Updated: 08/21/2019