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  • Testimonials

    "A relative of mine, suffering from liver failure, had been going through the normal channels without a lawyer and 2 years passed by with no results. He was referred to Kathleen Flynn by the hospital, an attorney who not only specialized in disability cases but had actually previously worked for the Social Security Administration, and, therefore, understood the complete process. After hiring Ms. Flynn, my relative won his case for disability in a short amount of time. Desperate, I made an appointment to see Ms. Flynn, and, within 2 months, I received my first disability check! It was amazing!"

    — Charles R. Joines
  • RSS New on Our Blog

    • During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration is not acting on the following cases: June 22, 2020
      During the Covid-19 pandemic from April 10, 2020 until further notice, SSA is NOT acting on the following cases based upon NOSSCR’s June 2020 newsletter. https://nosscr.org: 1. Medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) -This is good news for any adult or child with a physical or mental condition (s), who was previously awarded social security disability […]
    • National Minority Mental Health Month July 29, 2016
      During the month of July, we commemorate National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month following the 2008 resolution by Congress. http://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Minority-Mental-Health-Awareness-Month/Learn-About-Minority-Mental-Health-Month This resolution honors the legacy of Bebe Moore Campbell, an award winning African-American author, journalist, and teacher, who helped to destigmatize how minorities approach mental health issues in their communities. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6546082 Based upon the 2000 […]
    • Raising Breast Cancer awareness in African-American women February 14, 2016
      At a past fundraiser for the Sisters Network in Atlanta, GA, I learned of the need for breast cancer awareness in the African American community. Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst all women. http://www.cdc.gov/ cancer/dcpc/data/ women.htm Considering women under age 45, however, the mortality rate of breast cancer is higher for African-Americans than […]
    • Diabetes: How to win a social security disability case before an Adjudicator or ALJ December 10, 2015
      The Social Security Administration (SSA) eliminated Medical Listing 9.08. For complications from diabetes, this listing previously resulted in a finding of disability at step three of the sequential evaluation process for social security disability claims. https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/9.00-Endocrine-Adult.htm In fact, effective June 7, 2015, there are no specific endocrine disorder listings anymore for adults. One exception is […]
    • Representatives have a duty to submit all evidence in social security disability cases to the Social Security Administration October 15, 2015
      Beginning in April 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) created new internal Hallex regulations requiring representatives to submit all existing evidence related to a client’s mental or physical impairments. In the past, representatives were not required to submit evidence that could adversely impact a client’s case. During hearings held at the Office of Disability Adjudication […]

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:

  1. If you were married to your spouse when he or she died:
    1. You must 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;
    2. AND

    3. You must have 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;
    4. AND

    5. You did not remarry before age 50 unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment;
    6. AND

    7. You are not otherwise eligible for higher benefits on your own or another’s earning record.
  2. If you were divorced when he or she died:
    1. To qualify for DWB, you must be 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;
    2. AND

    3. You had to be married to your spouse for 10 years or longer;
    4. AND

    5. You must be unmarried;
    6. AND

    7. You are not otherwise eligible for higher benefits on your own or another’s earning record.

Other Benefits