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Same-Sex Marriage Ruling and Social Security Benefits

August 26, 2015

On June 26, 2015, in the decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court held that the United States Constitution requires States to issue marriage licenses to two people of the same sex and to recognize a same sex marriage lawfully licensed and performed in another state.

Social Security Programs Impacted by the Decision

The decision may impact eligibility for the following programs:

  • Social Security Disability
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid

Impact on Individuals Already Married

  • Based on the ruling, married persons may be eligible immediately for previously inaccessible Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid benefits
  • Based on the ruling, if individuals were receiving benefits and their marriage was not previously recognized, the marriage may now be considered in eligibility determinations

What Should You Do if this Ruling Applies to You?

  • Apply as soon as possible!
    • Why?
      • It is important to apply as soon as possible because the beginning date of benefits may be based on the month of application.

Where to Apply

Applications for Social Security and Medicare benefits are handled by the Social Security Administration. Applications for Medicaid are handled by State Medicaid offices.

For more information on Social Security Disability, please visit our page on Social Security Disability Benefits.  If you have any questions, call us or submit a free, simple, and quick consultation form now.