Social Security for LGBT Americans

There has been some confusion in the LGBT Community as to exactly how Social Security works for same sex couples. As Social Security Benefit Planners we have LGBT clients who regularly call us and ask these very important questions. Here is the low down. Social Security recognizes same-sex couples’ marriages in all states, and some non-marital legal relationships (such as some civil unions and domestic partnerships), for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits, Medicare entitlement, and eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Five pieces of information same-sex couples should know:

  1. Marital status is important — same-sex couple can receive Social Security benefits when a worker retires, becomes disabled, or dies. We also consider marital status when we determine eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income.
  2. What type of benefits can you receive — Social Security taxes pay for three kinds of benefits: retirement, disability, and survivors. If you‘re entitled to benefits, your spouse and eligible family members might receive benefits, too.
  3. Children may receive benefits — your children or stepchildren could also be entitled to benefits.
  4. When you apply for benefits is important — if you’re married or have entered a non-marital legal relationship, we encourage you to apply right away, even if you’re not sure you’re eligible. Applying now will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits.
  5. Report life changes right away — you should let us know immediately if you move, marry, separate, divorce, or become the parent of a child. Don’t wait until we review your benefits to tell us about any changes. You should report changes right away so benefits are paid correctly.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states and have their marriage recognized by other states. This decision made it possible for more same-sex couples and their families to benefit from our programs.

It’s important to have Social Security Benefit Planners look at how to maximize your social security. Don’t leave your money on the table! Most people don’t realize they qualify for more than the standard payout, or that delaying when they start their benefits can actually result in more income in the long run. Select the service plan that best fits your needs and let’s secure the Social Security benefits you qualify for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.