The Social Security Administration has announced they are now processing some retirement spouse claims for same-sex couples and paying benefits where they are due.
“The recent Supreme Court decision on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, made just over a month ago, helps to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly and equally, with the dignity and respect they deserve.
We continue to work closely with the Department of Justice. 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.”
Buzzfeed details the limits of this announcement:
“The Social Security Administration is limiting payment of claims for same-sex married couples currently to those couples who were married in a state the allows same-sex couples to marry and are “domiciled,” or live, in a state that recognizes same-sex couples’ marriages.
The decision means claims from same-sex couples married where such couples can legally marry but who live in a state that does not recognize such marriages are having their applications put on hold for the time being.”
In our report, “Living Outside the Safety Net” we have urged Washington to change the law so that same sex couples who contribute to Social Security are no longer discriminated against. We have urged SSA to fully implement benefit changes, which come after the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Age, to ensure that benefit discrimination ends.