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Social Security Announces You Must Live In A Marriage Equality State To Collect Benefits – For Now

by Jean Ann Esselink on August 12, 2013

in Families,Jean Ann Esselink,News

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Saying they “appreciate the public’s patience as we work through the legal issues to ensure that our policy is legally sound and clear,” the acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Carolyn Colvin, announced the agency has begun processing claims from same-sex couples and their children who reside in states that recognize same-sex marriages. The couples must be legally married.  Couples in civil unions will not be eligible for benefits at this time.

The announcement went on to say the agency continues to work with the Justice Department, and expects to develop additional “policy and processing instructions” which they will implement in the next “weeks and months.”

The short press release ended by urging anyone who thinks they should be eligible for benefits to continue filing claims, to protect your eligibility in case new policies are adopted in the future.

You can read the announcement here.

Writer’s Note: My gut feeling is that this decision should be viewed as more of a “what can we do right away?” response than a “this is all we’re going to do” announcement. The government moves slowly. My sense is they wanted to show they were working on the new policy, not that they expect to deny everyone else forever.

tncrmJean Ann Esselink is a straight friend to the gay community. Proud and loud Liberal. Closet writer of political fiction. Black sheep agnostic Democrat from a conservative Catholic family. Living in Northern Oakland County Michigan with Puck the Wonder Beagle.

Follow me on Twitter as @Uncucumbered or friend me on Facebook.

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Huntercgo August 12, 2013 at 11:55 am

I think you're right. The whole administration, including DoD, have moved very fast to implement new policies in the wake of the Windsor decision, and I'd also guess that this is a stop-gap from SSA. They want to show they're working on it, but also that they're being careful to avoid a mess farther on.

bruwhhh August 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Another reason to declare all anti-marriage laws in all states unconstitutional. Equality should be for all citizens of the USA. This divided nation makes no sense what so ever. Put the Bible back in the Church, or wherever it belongs, this certainly has no place in a civil society.

searchcz August 13, 2013 at 9:23 am

What does this announcement mean for Americans living abroad, and legally married where they are domiciled?

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