Supreme Court Ruling on Same Sex Marriage Impacts Social Security Benefits

Posted July 17, 2015 by Premier Disability Services, LLC® The Supreme Court of the United States recently handed down a landmark, yet controversial ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states. This ruling has far reaching implications in many areas of law and our society, including determining who is eligible for Social Security benefits.

Doug Walker, Social Security’s Deputy Commissioner of Communications, recently posted an article on SSA’s official blog page addressing this development. He stated that SSA is currently working with the Department of Justice to implement policy and processing instructions structured around the Court’s ruling. Currently, SSA recognizes a limited number of same-sex marriages and non-marital legal same-sex relationships for the purpose of determining entitlement or eligibility for benefits. Once SSA fully implements this ruling into their processes and procedures, there will be a significant expansion in this area.

As stated in Deputy Commissioner Walker’s article, if you are a spouse, divorced spouse, or surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal same-sex marriage, it is beneficial to apply for benefits immediately if you are eligible. The article also includes a link to SSA’s page titled, Important Information for Same Sex Couples (

It will be interesting to see how SSA implements this ruling . With any new process, there will likely be some confusion and growing pains in the beginning. It is always beneficial to consider hiring an experienced representative who can work with the SSA offices to ensure the proper rules and regulations are being followed.

Source: Supreme Court Decision Regarding Same-Sex Marriage, by Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications,


By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®