Important Information for Same-Sex Couples
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Therefore, Social Security no longer is prevented from recognizing same-sex marriages to determine entitlement or payment amount.
Social Security has published new instructions that allow the agency to process more claims in which entitlement or eligibility is affected by a same-sex relationship.
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. We have consulted with the Department of Justice and 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. Your same-sex marriage may affect your SSI eligibility or payment amount.
If you are in, or are a surviving spouse of, a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal same-sex relationship, we encourage you to apply right away for benefits.
We also are considering same-sex marriages or relationships when processing some claims for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your same-sex marriage or relationship may affect your SSI eligibility or payment amount.
We continue to work closely with the Department of Justice. In the coming weeks and months, we will develop and implement additional policy and processing instructions. As we have additional information, we will update our website. If you have questions, please refer to our frequently asked questions.
We are working closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and implement additional policy and processing instructions for Medicare entitlement and enrollment. If you have questions about how your same-sex relationship may affect Medicare, please refer to CMS at http://cms.hhs.gov/ or call CMS at 1-800-Medicare.
If you have questions about how a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal relationship may affect your claim or to tell us if you are married, separated or divorced, please call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security office.
Advocates, members of the media, and others with general questions about same-sex marriage or non-marital legal relationship, and Social Security Administration programs, may contact their local Regional Communications Director.