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Ledgerwood Law Group

Now that same-sex marriage is legal in California again, my long-time partner and I plan to be married as soon as possible. Will my wife be eligible for the same types of SSDI spousal benefits?


The short answer is yes—as long as you and your wife continue to reside in a state that recognizes your marriage as valid, she may be eligible to receive Social Security disability dependent benefits.

Qualifying states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. According to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, federal agencies are required to offer marital protections to same-sex couples only if the couple is currently residing in a state where same-sex marriage is acknowledged.

Otherwise, the requirements for obtaining dependent or auxiliary benefits remain the same:

  • The original claimant must have paid sufficiently into the Social Security system and be approved for disability benefits.
  • The spouse must be 62 years or older, or
  • The spouse must be the primary caregiver of an eligible child who is under 16 years of age.

Benefits can range up to 50 percent of the monthly benefit received by the original claimant, pending an overall family limit. A spouse may also receive your benefits in the event of your death.

If you have been struggling through one or more appeals on a Chico SSDI claim, it might be time to discuss your options with a Northern California disability attorney. Speak with a member of our team by calling toll-free 888-761-7383 today.