Social Security Disability Benefits for Same-Sex CouplesBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on November 5, 2013 | In Social Security Disability
Social Security disability benefits have long been available for disabled individuals who need to claim benefits based on a spouse’s work record. Since the U.S. Supreme Court made the decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that disability benefits based on a spouse’s work record will also be available to same-sex couples on the same basis these benefits have long been available to straight couples.
Although the SSA is still in the process of determining how best to administer disability and retirement benefits claims by same-sex spouses, the administration is encouraging spouses to apply for benefits now if needed. Applying for disability benefits promptly after a disability forces you to quit work or scale back your hours is crucial to ensuring that benefits are available, especially if you are applying based on a spouse’s work record.
Applying early preserves the date that you filed as the date your claim opened. The SSA uses this date to determine when your benefits start. Your benefits cannot start before your filing date, so the earlier you file, the more likely you are to receive the full amount of benefits you need.
Currently, spousal benefits are only available in certain situations. Disabled individuals applying for benefits on a spouse’s work record must have been married for a minimum number of years and must also meet the medical requirements for a “disability.” To ensure you meet these requirements, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of an experienced southern California Social Security disability benefits attorney with the Kenton Koszdin Law Office. For a free and confidential case evaluation, contact us today at (800) 438-7734.