In most situations, stay-at-home moms might find themselves ineligible for any disability benefits due to a lack of significant employment history. To qualify for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI), you must have a substantial work history with employers who have paid taxes to the Social Security Administration.
The social security attorneys Pisegna And Zimmerman in Los Angeles explain that as a stay-at-home mom, you may be eligible for SSDI if you had worked before staying home and becoming disabled.
Disability Benefits for Stay-at-Home Moms
A stay-at-home mom in California may receive SSDI benefits based on their spouse’s earning record if the spouse is disabled and eligible for SSDI or has died. This is known as mother’s and father’s benefits. This happens under the following circumstances:
- You have not remarried
- You’ll take care of your deceased spouse’s child who is under 16 years of age or disabled and eligible for child’s insurance benefits
- You are not titled to widow(er) benefits
- You are not qualified for a higher social security retirement benefit on your earnings or someone else’s
You may also be eligible for SSDI if you meet all the above criteria and have obtained a final divorce from your ex-spouse.
Benefits for Surviving Spouses
Three types of social security survivor benefits are available to surviving spouses, including:
- Mother’s and father’s benefits
- Survivor benefits
- Disabled widow(er) benefits
In a perfect world, given the importance of the moms’ role in society, they would be earning points each quarter while raising children so they can qualify for SSDI if they ever become disabled. Since it’s not the case, stay-at-home moms may receive benefits whether they care for the deceased spouse’s children or are over 60 years of age when the spouse dies.
To be eligible for disabled widow’s benefits (DWB) based on your deceased spouse’s work record, you must meet the following criteria:
- You need to be at least 50 years of age
- You must qualify for disabled conditions by the Social Security Administration (SSA)
- Your disability began between 50 and 60 years of age
- Your disability started before or within seven years after your husband died
Suppose you are 60 years of age or older when your spouse is deceased. In that case, you may be eligible for survivor benefits under your spouse’s employment history, such as:
- Reduced retirement benefits at age 60
- Total retirement amount (if you wait until full retirement age)
Regardless of whether you remarry, your survivor benefits won’t be affected, as you can also apply for disability at 60 years to access Medicare.
If your ex-spouse is deceased, you may be able to receive survivor benefits as if you had stayed married. However, to qualify for social security benefits as a divorced spouse, you need to have been married for at least ten years, have not remarried (unless 60 years of age or 50 if disabled), and be unable to receive an equal or higher benefit amount on your own. You won’t need to meet the marriage length criteria if you will be caring for the ex-spouse’s child who is under the age of 16 or disabled.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, you may be eligible to receive SSDI or at least supplemental security income. To better understand how the California legal system works, it would be in your best interest to get help from a social security attorney. While it’s not impossible to apply for SSDI yourself, the process is time-consuming and exhausting. A social security attorney will fight to ensure you are eligible for the various programs available while assisting you with the entire process.