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Social Security process for same-sex relationships

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Thereafter, the Social Security Administration is no longer prevented from recognizing same-sex marriages to determine entitlement or payment amount.

One year later, the Social Security Administration has just published new instructions that enable the agency to process more claims in which entitlement or eligibility is affected by a same-sex relationship.  These instructions indicate the agency will recognize some non-marital legal relationships as marriages for determining entitlement to benefits and, although required to follow state law in Social Security cases, will also begin processing many claims in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages or non-marital legal relationships.

The new policy also addresses Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims based on same-sex relationships and thus a same-sex marriage may affect determination of SSI eligibility or payment amount.

Social Security Administration Contact Information:

General questions about same-sex marriage or non-marital legal relationship, and Social Security Administration programs, contact your local Regional Communications Director.

Specific claim information involving same-sex marriage or non-marital  1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security office.

Application:  apply right away for benefits.

Other Questions:  frequently asked questions.

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