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Update: Social Security for Gay Couples

With the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, it has now opened the door for many things: same-sex divorce, Medicare benefits, and spousal, survivor and disability benefits.

The landmark ruling on June 26, 2015 has enabled all same-sex married couples to apply for Social Security spousal, disability, and survivor benefits, and they can also apply for Medicare coverage.

In order for a gay couple to qualify for Social Security and disability benefits, the spouses must have been married for a minimum of 12 months before either spouse can apply to be their spouse’s beneficiary.

Under the Social Security program, a spousal benefit is worth up to 50% of their spouse’s full retirement age benefit (the worker). This is also known as the primary insurance amount (PIA).

Social Security Survivor Benefits

In order for a spouse to qualify for Social Security survivor benefits and the one-time lump-sum benefit of $255, the surviving spouse must have been married to the decedent for at least nine months immediately before the wage-earning spouse’s death.

Survivor benefits are worth up to 100% of the decedent’s worker’s benefit, and this includes delayed retirement credits earned by the decedent by postponing his or her benefits beyond full retirement age.

The above is just a basic summary, for details, feel free to contact our office.

No more zip code restrictions for applicants!

Prior to the Court’s ruling on June 26, 13 states did not recognize same-sex marriages, including Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and others.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Obergefel, the SSA will recognize same-sex marriages for Social Security purposes – regardless of the applicant’s zip code!

Now, couples who live in Texas but got married in states that recognized same-sex marriage before the ruling, will have the same legal standing as any other married couple.

Following last month’s ruling, the SSA said that it would be working with the Department of Justice to provide instructions to those who will be affected by the ruling.

If you have any questions about how your same-sex marriage may affect your right to Social Security benefits, please contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm. We are strong supporters of the LGBT community and are the trusted source for same-sex couples in Plano, Dallas and Fort Worth.

Contact us today to speak with a Dallas Social Security Disability lawyer!