Social Security Rights for LGBTQIA+ Couples

Recently, there have been two separate class action cases regarding the rights of living partners of same-sex couples when it comes to eligibility for widow(er)'s benefits through Social Security

  • In Ely V. Saul the Court ruled that if a couple was married less than 9 months before the death of their same-sex spouse and were previously denied widow(er)'s benefits through Social Security, that the surviving spouse may be eligible for back pay if there were state laws still in effect preventing the surviving spouse from being married longer than 9 months.
  • In Thornton V. Commissioner of Social Security, the court held that if a couple was unable to get married due to state laws preventing same-sex marriage and were therefore ineligible or denied widow(er)'s benefits through Social Security after the death of one partner, that the surviving partner may now be entitled to back pay.

If you have questions about these or other Social Security issues, please contact our office for a free consultation.

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