According to Fox News, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has begun updating policies for same-sex marriage claims and payouts are expected to begin very soon.
Fox News reported that widow or death benefits would be paid out to individuals who were married to a partner at the time he or she died, as well as those who were legally married for at least 10 years, but later divorced (surviving divorced spouse benefits). The claims affect people who collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The SSA began processing same-sex marriage claims after the Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) law’s definition of marriage for federal benefits purposes as only between a man and a woman on June 26.
According to Fox News, the SSA is still facing a hurdle with same-sex claims, as “regulations specifically yield to the definition of “marriage” used by the state in which you live.”
“Thus, a gay couple who was legally married in New York, but currently resides in Texas- which does not recognize same-sex marriage- is technically not considered “married” under current Social Security rules,” Fox News reported.
The network reported that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) was working with the SSA to update policies regarding same-sex marriages, but the process has been slow.
“In late summer, the administration said members of same-sex marriages could begin applying for spousal benefits,” Fox News reported. The station reported that “filing as soon as you can locks in your application date. Once the rules are revised, benefits will be paid retroactive to the date you signed up.”
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 consultations, and you can reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers