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Will All Same-Sex Marriages Get Social Security Benefits?

Posted by B. Patrick Agnew | Aug 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

Recently, there has been much discussion regarding same-sex married couples and their entitlement to social security benefits. In 2013, the United States v. Windsor case determined same-sex married couples could recover federal benefits if one spouse died. However, the surviving spouse could only receive those benefits if the couple married and lived in a state The post Will All Same-Sex Marriages Get Social Security Benefits? appeared first on Agnew & Rosenberger Virginia Law Firm.

Recently, there has been much discussion regarding same-sex married couples and their entitlement to social security benefits. In 2013, the United States v. Windsor case determined same-sex married couples could recover federal benefits if one spouse died. However, the surviving spouse could only receive those benefits if the couple married and lived in a state that recognized same-sex marriages. With the new Supreme Court ruling, these marriages gained recognition throughout the entire United States.

Obergefell v. Hodges announced the legalization of sex-same marriages in every state of the United States June 2015. In addition, this case noted that all marriages are a fundamental right. As a result, same-sex married couples became entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual married couples, such as social security benefits resulting from a spouse's death. However, some same-sex couples have not been granted access to these benefits because their spouses died before the Supreme Court's ruling.

One woman spoke out about her personal journey through this difficult time. Prior to her spouse's death, the woman quit her job, in 2011, to care for her wife as she battled through severe illness. Sadly, after years of marriage to her wife, the woman lost her spouse to cancer in 2012. Because her partner died before the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the woman was unable to collect death and survivor benefits from Social Security even though she filed for survivor benefits in 2013 soon after the Windsor decision. The woman stated that although she is happy to be a witness of the Obergefell ruling, she is dejected that she is unable to experience it. Of course, this raised much concern regarding those same-sex marriages that took place prior to the new Supreme Court decision.

Now, there is much debate as to whether all previous marriages, same-sex and heterosexual, are entitled to receive the federal benefits since the Supreme Court has recently ruled that marriage is a constitutional right. Currently, the Justice Department has declined to comment on this case as the discussion still proceeds. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security, Medicare, and an advocacy group have all joined the case.

Agnew & Rosenberger, PLLC Cares

The Virginia social security lawyers at our firm truly care about you and your loved one. Our team understand the complexities of such issue and are here to speak with you about any concerns you may have about social security and disability. When you work with our Virginia social security attorneys, you can rest assured knowing an entire firm is looking out for your best interests.

For questions and concerns, contact Agnew & Rosenberger, PLLC today! The post Will All Same-Sex Marriages Get Social Security Benefits? appeared first on Agnew & Rosenberger Virginia Law Firm .

About the Author

B. Patrick Agnew

Not only was I born and raised in Central and Southwest Virginia, I attended both undergrad and law school in this great state. I enjoy working with fellow Virginians and strive to provide them with excellent legal services. My undergraduate career took place at Liberty University, where I earne...

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