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Social Security Paying Benefits to Some Married Same-Sex Couples

Posted on Aug 23, 2013

According to acting commissioner of Social Security, Carolyn W. Colvin, the administration has started processing and paying out spousal benefits for some married gay and lesbian partners.

Currently, Social Security is working under the guidance of the Justice Department to ensure that guidelines for same-sex spouses will be fair, clear, and stand up to legal scrutiny. Colvin thanked the public for their patience during this process and encouraged individuals who feel they are eligible for benefits apply as soon as possible to maximize their potential benefit.

There has been no definitive disclosure of the number of same-sex couples who have successfully applied for spousal benefits. Unfortunately, there are still some challenging questions regarding policy that the agency has yet to address.

For example, spousal retirement and survivor benefits seem to be the agency’s focus, while spousal benefits for same-sex claimants receiving disability are less clear.

While some advocates feel retroactive benefits should go back to the date of the SCOTUS decision, the administration intends to keep them tied to the applicant’s filing date.

Most pressing of all is the fact that spousal benefits will only be extended to legally married same-sex couples who are currently residents of Washington D.C., California or one of the twelve other states where their marriage is acknowledged. This could pose a serious hardship for families with roots in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is still against the law.

To learn more about the Social Security appeals process, as well as benefits available to your spouse, talk to a dedicated Butte disability attorney at Ledgerwood Law. Call us today at 888-761-7383 or fill out the online contact form.

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Thomas Ledgerwood
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