In August, the Justice Department told lawyers that the Social Security Administration would apply the Supreme Court’s June same-sex marriage ruling when it came to benefit claims.
According to the New York Times, same-sex couples living in states where their unions were not previously recognized will now be able to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
“[T]he rules are expected to be applied to previously filed claims that are pending in the administrative process or litigation,” the Times reported. The SSA did not comment on the situation. Previously, the SSA used state laws to determine marital status, so couples living in states that did not recognize same-sex marriage (which, prior to 2014, included Oklahoma) were unfortunately out of luck when it came to collecting benefits.
Marriage can greatly determine eligibility and payments, depending upon which program you collect benefits from. The big take away from this announcement is that more people will be able to receive SSDI dependent benefits, as family members, including spouses, are often eligible for a monthly benefit of up to 50 percent of a recipient’s disability rate.
Disability law can be extremely confusing when determining eligibility for family members and spouses. We suggest contacting our Tulsa disability attorneys if you have questions about how a marriage may affect your eligibility, or if you have questions about whether or not you are now eligible to receive payments.
Our Tulsa Disability Attorneys Can Answer Your Questions about Benefit Eligibility
Our attorneys offer free evaluations of your case and can help your case move forward if you are in a same-sex marriage and would like to obtain SSDI benefits.
You can reach us by calling the phone number or by using the contact form on this page.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys