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Same-Sex Couples and Social Security

October 31, 2016 Blog

Social Security is complicated in the USA. Navigating the Social Security Administration (SSA) and all the laws surrounding Social Security can be daunting. The law can become even more complicated for those in a same-sex relationship. Here we discuss some of the major questions facing same-sex couples.

Do I qualify for benefits as a spouse if I am in a same-sex relationship?

Yes. The SSA is currently processing some retirement, surviving spouse and lump-sum death payment claims for same-sex couples in non-marital legal relationships (such as some civil unions and domestic partnerships). This means that the SSA is paying benefits where they are due and qualifying same-sex couples are encouraged to apply.

Remember that applying now will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits. Contact an attorney at Mike Murburg, P.A. immediately if you have any questions or concerns. Our attorneys can help you file for benefits properly and in a timely manner.

How can being in a same-sex relationship impact Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments?

If you are in a same-sex relationship, your spouse’s income and resources may impact your SSI eligibility or payment amount. How much of an impact your spouse’s income and resources has on your SSI eligibility or payment amount is reviewed by the SSA on a case-by-case basis.

Whether you are eligible for SSI can become a complicated question and it is best to have an experienced lawyer help, especially if your claim has been denied. Similarly, if you believe that you are not receiving the appropriate SSI payments, an attorney should review your claim.

Must someone who is in a same-sex marriage notify the Social Security Administration of that relationship status?

The SSA will review your status in a civil union or other non-marital legal relationship and that may affect your entitlement to benefits. The SSA requires that all recipients notify them if they are in a civil union or other non-marital legal relationship.

One of our experienced Social Security attorneys can fully explain the impact that entering into a civil union or other non-marital legal relationship will have.

Will the Social Security Administration recognize a same-sex marriage if the ceremony took place in a foreign country?

For purposes of determining entitlement benefits the SSA now recognizes some foreign same-sex marriages. This area of the law can become extremely complicated and you should engage one of the Social Security attorneys at Mike Murburg, P.A. if you have any questions.

Can same-sex partners place both names on their child’s Social Security number record?

Yes. The law allows, regardless of the sex of you or your partner, the SSA to place both parents’ names on a child’s Social Security number record. However, the same-sex couple will need to provide proof that they are the legal parents of the child. An original or amended birth certificate, final adoption decree or court determination of paternity will suffice as proof.

More Information

The SSA has provided answers to many of the frequently-asked questions relating to same-sex couples. See their FAQ page or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

If you still have questions, if your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income claim has been denied, or if you are not receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, contact us today. A Tampa Social Security disability attorney at Mike Murburg, P.A. can help you through the entire process.