As part of June PRIDE month, Social Security has created a new webpage highlighting resources for the LGBTQ+ community.
Many members of this community had been denied survivor benefits that were available to straight couples due to bans on same-sex marriage that have since been declared unconstitutional. A new fact sheet from Social Security addresses both people who had previously applied for survivor benefits and been denied, and people who never previously applied for survivor benefits.
Generally, a surviving spouse is eligible for survivor benefits if the deceased spouse was employed long enough to qualify for Social Security and been married to the surviving spouse for at least nine months. The fact sheet details survivor benefits eligibility for people who, due to now unconstitutional laws, could not marry or could not be married for the nine months prior to the death of the decedent spouse.
There are many factors that Social Security looks at when determining whether or not a couple is now eligible including applicable laws regarding same-sex marriage, cohabitation, any alternate commitment ceremonies, property arrangements between the couple, and many other factors relating to the level of commitment in the relationship.
Beyond survivor benefits, Social Security’s LGBTQ+ page also includes information about other Social Security and Medicare benefits as well as information on Social Security and gender identity.
For help in determining whether you may be eligible for survivor benefits or developing an estate plan, please call Mitchell, Brown & Associates at (314) 962-0186.
Social Security LGBTQ+ page: LGBTQ+ | SSA
Social Security Fact Sheet on Same-Sex Survivor Benefits: Survivors Benefits for Same-Sex Partners and Spouses (ssa.gov)