Important Information for Same-Sex Couples
On Friday, June 26, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the Obergefell case. The Social Security Administration continues to take claims from same-sex couples, and we are working with the Department of Justice to analyze the decision and provide instructions specific to the decision for those individuals who rely on our programs and services. We update this website as new information becomes available.
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. As a result, Social Security is no longer prevented from recognizing same-sex marriages in determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.
We can also recognize some non-marital legal same-sex relationships (such as civil unions and domestic partnerships) as marriages for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security and Medicare benefits.
We published instructions that allow us to process many benefit claims in which a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal relationship affects entitlement or eligibility. We continue to work closely with the Department of Justice to 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.
If you are a spouse, divorced spouse, or surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal same-sex relationship
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
We consider same-sex marriages when determining SSI eligibility and payment amount. You must report changes to us, including changes to your marital status and address.
Medicare entitlement and enrollment
We work closely with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and implement 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 additional questions
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 same-sex relationships and Social Security programs may contact their Regional Communications Director.