Same-Sex Couples to Get More Federal Benefits

The Social Security Administration announced Friday it has finalized its rules about benefits and obligations to same-sex married couples.

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Nearly one year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the ban on federal benefits for legally married same-sex couples, the SSA clarified that legally-married couples (including in a foreign country that recognizes same-sex unions) are entitled to benefits no matter their current state of residence.

In other words, a same-sex couple who married in Illinois, but currently lives in Texas- which does not sanction same-sex unions- will be awarded the same benefit considerations as heterosexual couples. This is a departure from the policy Social Security has historically followed. It used to defer to the definition of "marriage"  in a couple's state of residence.

Partners in same-sex marriages who believe they are now entitled to benefits - as current, divorced or widowed spouses - are encouraged to file.

In addition, Social Security is also accepting disability claims from individuals in same- sex marriages.

Additional information can be found here.

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