§ 404.337. When does my entitlement to widow's and widower's benefits start and end?

(a) We will find you entitled to widow's or widower's benefits under § 404.335 or § 404.336 beginning with the first month covered by your application in which you meet all other requirements for entitlement.

(b) We will end your entitlement to widow's or widower's benefits at the earliest of the following times:

(1) The month before the month in which you become entitled to an old-age benefit that is equal to or larger than the insured's primary insurance amount.

(2) The second month after the month your disability ends or, where disability ends on or after December 1, 1980, the month before your termination month (§ 404.325). However your payments are subject to the provisions of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. Note: You may remain eligible for payment of benefits if you attained full retirement age (as defined in § 404.409) before your termination month and you meet the other requirements for widow's or widower's benefits.

(3) If drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability as described in § 404.1535, the month after the 12th consecutive month of suspension for noncompliance with treatment or after 36 months of benefits on that basis when treatment is available regardless of the number of entitlement periods you may have had, unless you are otherwise disabled without regard to drug addiction or alcoholism.

(4) The month before the month in which you die.

(c)(1) Your benefits may be continued after your impairment is no longer disabling if—

(i) You are participating in an appropriate program of vocational rehabilitation services, employment services, or other support services, as described in § 404.327(a) and (b);

(ii) You began participating in the program before the date your disability ended; and

(iii) We have determined under § 404.328 that your completion of the program, or your continuation in the program for a specified period of time, will increase the likelihood that you will not have to return to the disability benefit rolls.

(2) We generally will stop your benefits with the earliest of these months—

(i) The month in which you complete the program; or

(ii) The month in which you stop participating in the program for any reason (see § 404.327(b) for what we mean by “participating” in the program); or

(iii) The month in which we determine under § 404.328 that your continuing participation in the program will no longer increase the likelihood that you will not have to return to the disability benefit rolls.

Exception to paragraph (c): In no case will we stop your benefits with a month earlier than the second month after the month your disability ends, provided that you meet all other requirements for entitlement to and payment of benefits through such month.

(d) If, after November 1980, you have a disabling impairment (§ 404.1511), we will pay you benefits for all months in which you do not do substantial gainful activity during the reentitlement period (§ 404.1592a) following the end of your trial work period (§ 404.1592). If you are unable to do substantial gainful activity in the first month following the reentitlement period, we will pay you benefits until you are able to do substantial gainful activity. (Earnings during your trial work period do not affect the payment of your benefits.) We will also pay you benefits for the first month after the trial work period in which you do substantial gainful activity and the two succeeding months, whether or not you do substantial gainful activity during those succeeding months. After those three months, we cannot pay you benefits for any months in which you do substantial gainful activity.

[68 FR 4706, Jan. 30, 2003, as amended at 70 FR 36506, June 24, 2005]