Sunday, August 23, 2015

Obergefell Will Be Applied Retroactively To Social Security Claims

42 USC Sec. 416(h)(1)(A)(i) provides that whether a person is the spouse of another for Social Security purposes depends on the law of their state of domicile.  Until now this has led the Social Security Administration to deny benefits to same-sex spouses who moved to or lived in a state which did not recognize their marriage.  However, in an Aug. 20 press release, Lambda Legal reported:
Today, in a status conference with Lambda Legal in federal court in Chicago, the Department of Justice announced that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will apply the U.S. Supreme Court's recent landmark marriage ruling retroactively and process pending spousal benefits claims for same-sex couples who lived in states that did not previously recognize their marriages. According to the Department of Justice, the new policy will apply to previously filed claims still pending in the administrative process or litigation.