Social Security Administration Unclear on Same Sex BenefitsBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on February 9, 2016 | In Social Security Claims Process
It has been about six months since same-sex marriage became the law of the land. Yet, there are still legal hoops for same-sex couples to jump through. The Social Security Administration has still not implemented changes regarding benefit eligibility for same-sex spouses. Many are now caught in legal limbo regarding same-sex eligibility and retroactive spousal benefits.
Spousal benefits are an important part of Social Security. So, it is crucial for the SSA to get this right. Difficult cases that must be determined include same-sex married couples that want to seek benefits back to the date they originally filed, even if that date was before their state recognized their marriage. The SSA also has to determine what to do with widowed spouses who were married before the Supreme Court ruling.
In September of 2015, the SSA sent out an emergency message to field offices to process pending claims from all valid marriages and to even disregard when the state recognized the marriage. However, the SSA also has a determination charge on its official website regarding when save-sex marriages became legal in each state. It’s unclear when they recognize marriages and how that recognition affects spousal benefits.
Many suspect that couples will be regarded as married as of the date they entered a valid marriage. This will clear up many legal issues for couples who were married in one state who resided in another that did not immediately recognize their marriage. These types of issues are important for couples that just want the same benefits as every other married couple.
You should qualify for your spouse’s Social Security benefits if you are at least 62 years of age or any age while caring for a child entitled to benefits on your spouse’s record. You are also eligible for both your own retirement benefits and for those of your spouse. If your spouse’s benefits are higher than your own, you will receive a combination of benefits equaling the higher benefit.
If you have questions regarding spousal benefits and how marriage equality has affected your opportunities to receive Social Security benefits, please contact an experienced Los Angeles Social Security attorney who can help review your options and assist you with receiving valuable support.
Kenton Koszdin Law Office can help. Contact us at (800) 438-7734.