Same-Sex Couples and Social Security

June 26, 2013 was a landmark moment for same-sex spouses in regards to applying for Social Security Disability; after reviewing the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, the Supreme Court decided to adjust some of the concepts behind the act.  Originally, this act made it impossible for same-sex spouses to file for SSI Disability because it was illegal for the Social Security Administration to recognize their partnership as a legal marriage (which is required in order to file for Social Security spouse benefits).  Now, however, the Social Security Administration is working alongside the Justice Department to determine what rules need to be put in place to deal with same-sex spouse claims.  So far they have come up with 3 new policies regarding claims for retirement aged spouses, non-biological children, and transgender individuals.  The first states that retirement aged same-sex spouses may apply for SSI if they were both married and currently living in a state that identifies their marriage as a legal marriage.  The second policy states that if the same-sex couple’s non-biological child is found, by state, to be a possible successor of the parent(s) than they will be eligible for SSI benefits.   The final new policy behind the reformation of this act concludes that a transgender individual is only eligible if the state in which they are applying for SSI views their marriage as legitimate and legal after that individual had gender reconstruction.  Although the Social Security Administration has come up with some new policies after the June court decision, there are still more that are in the process such as: same-sex spousal widow claims, claims from same-sex couples who are not legally married but are in civil unions, and claims for those who are “younger than retirement age caring for an eligible child.”  These last few policies that have yet to be created are currently being worked on, though, so it will only be a matter of time before you will see these policies alongside the other three already created.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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