Social Security Administration Is Now Accepting Married Gay Couples’ Claims

“We are taking claims now from individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits,” spokesman says.

Army Capt. Michael Potoczniak and Todd Saunders, of El Cerrito, Calif., are married by deputy marriage commissioner John Loschmann, center, as witnesses Bill Hershon, left, and Sean Boileau, right, watch at City Hall in San Francisco, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration has begun taking claims from married same-sex couples who believe they are eligible for benefits, although the administration will not process them until the instructions for handling such claims are finalized.

The change, announced by Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle on Friday, comes about in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26 that the Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages being recognized by the federal government is unconstitutional.

“We are taking claims now from individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits. We will process these claims as soon as we have finalized our instructions,” Hinkle said in a statement.

He went on to note, “We are working with the Department of Justice to determine how the decision affects our programs and to develop appropriate instructions for our personnel.”

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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
Contact Chris Geidner at
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