SSA Processing Same-Sex Marriage Claims

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is now processing claims for people in same-sex marriages, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year in regards to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The SSA “is now processing some retirement spouse claims for same-sex couples and paying benefits where they are due,” acting commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said, according to the Washington Post. “In the coming weeks and months, we will develop and implement additional policy and processing instructions. We appreciate the public’s patience as we work through the legal issues to ensure that our policy is legally sound and clear.”

“I encourage individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits to apply now, to protect against the loss of any potential benefits. We will process claims as soon as additional instructions become finalized,” Colvin said.

The Supreme Court invalidated the DOMA law’s definition of marriage for federal benefits purposes as only between a man and a woman on June 26, according to the Post. The ruling affects people who collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Reuters reported that ruling pertained to people who were married in states recognizing gay marriage, but described the legalities as “murky” for married couples who live in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage. “I think it will take some time to sort out which marriages will be recognized,” David Codell, the legal director at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law told Reuters.

Working with an experienced attorney will help you if you think you qualify for benefits. Contact our Tulsa Social Security Disability attorney today for help. We offer free evaluations of your case, and you can reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.

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