Same-Sex Marriages and Social Security Claims Processing

In previous articles, we have discussed issues of entitlement for spouses of disabled workers.  Social Security has published new instructions to its employees that will allow the agency to process more claims in which entitlement or eligibility is affected by a same-sex relationship. Entitlement deals with what Social Security law allows to exist (i.e right here. spouse benefits, child benefits, etc.).  Eligibilityinvolves filing the filing of a claim and when benefits should begin. These employee instructions come in response to last year’s Supreme Court decision inU.S. vs. Windsor, which found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

This latest policy development lets the agency recognize some non-marital legal relationships as marriages for determining entitlement to benefits. These instructions also allow Social Security to begin processing many claims in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages or non-marital legal relationships.  The Department of Justice has determined that the Social Security Act requires the agency to follow state law in Social Security cases. The new policy also addresses Supplemental Security Income claims based on same-sex relationships.

If you believe that you may be entitled to or eligible for benefits, you are encouraged to apply now with Social Security.

To learn more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/same-sexcouples

Contact the North Carolina Social Security disability attorneys at Chad Brown Law at (800) 556-9115 to get more expert advice about this or any other topics, or help with filing your claim or appeal!

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