Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling touches the lives of millions of Americans and their families in many ways. It ends the discriminatory patchwork of laws that has given some same-sex partners legal rights that were denied to their neighbors in other states. It will also impact access to federal benefits like Social Security. For those Americans who rely on Social Security for retirement, disability, spousal and survivor benefits this ruling finally clears the way for the universal and fair distribution of benefits to all who have earned them.
“The basic tenet of Social Security is that if you contribute to the system throughout your working life, you and your family will receive those earned benefits in retirement, death or disability. Unfortunately for many same-sex couples and their families that important principle has been ignored as some states refused to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Today’s Supreme Court decision finally rights that wrong and clears the way for same-sex couples to access the hard-earned spousal and survivor benefits they’ve paid for just like every other American.
The National Committee has led the way in the fight to end this denial of Social Security benefits to deserving spouses. We’re proud of the role we have played with the Social Security Administration and others as part of our “Know Your Rights” project in helping same-sex couples exercise their legal right to benefits as their marriages were recognized in various states. We now urge the Social Security Administration to move quickly to ensure all Americans nationwide can access the spousal benefits they have earned.”…Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO