HRC Blog

SSA to Begin Processing Retirement Claims for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples

Today, the Social Security Administration announced that it would begin processing retirement spouse claims for same-sex couples living in marriage equality states.  As a result of this summer’s Supreme Court Decision invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) these couples will now be considered spouses for purposes of all Social Security benefits.   In a statement, Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin stated that “The recent Supreme Court decision on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, made just over a month ago, helps to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly and equally, with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
 
Individuals living in marriage equality states who believe they may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits should apply now, to avoid loss of potential benefits.  We appreciate today’s statement and guidance, and urge SSA to take further steps to ensure equal access to these critical benefits to the broadest extent possible.  To review today’s guidance, click here.

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