Interviewer: How does a person qualify for widow or widower benefits? Is that still applicable in Texas?
To Qualify, Widows Must Be at Least 50 Years Old, Have Been Married for 10 Years and Apply within Seven Years of the Death of the Spouse
Elvira: They can. If they are a widow, the individual has to be 50 years old. You have to be disabled, and you have to be 50 years old. Also, you had to have been married for 10 years, and you have to apply for the widow’s benefits within seven years of the spouse’s death.
Then it will be just like a regular social security disability claim, but it’s going to be a widow’s disability on the husband’s social security number. Of course, if that person’s never worked, she’s going to be applying on his social security number. If she has worked, and her monthly check would be higher than his, then she’s going to be just getting her social security; you can’t get both.
Concerns over the New Healthcare Bill Has Little Impact on Individuals Struggling to Apply for SSDI or SSI Benefits
Interviewer: Correct or incorrect but everybody has heard of this big scare now of how social security is going to be affected by the new healthcare bill. Have you run across those questions yet?
Jeanne: No, I haven’t. I haven’t run into a lot of questions like that because most of the people, when I’m interviewing them or getting them prepped for the hearing, now that you know how long the process takes, they’ve been focused on them for over a year.
They have been living off of other resources like friends or family, and it’s a very disheartening way to live. The issues with the Affordable Care Act, at this point, it’s still too nebulous. I think in most people’s minds they believe they qualify for disability and that’s a concrete, or bird-in-the-hand type program available now, and so that’s really all they focus on.
When you can’t get through your day because of pain or because you can’t ambulate, so you’re restricted to your living room and your kitchen area, or you can’t do things for yourself, like you have to have somebody dress you or things along that line, people like that don’t often spend a whole lot of time thinking about anything but the here and now.