Social Security begins paying same-sex couple claims

  • Woodlawn-based Social Security Administration.
Woodlawn-based Social Security Administration. (Baltimore Sun )
December 16, 2013|By John Fritze | The Baltimore Sun

The Obama administration said Monday that it is processing Social Security benefits for same-sex couples, six months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration said in a statement that it is processing "some" widow and widower claims and one-time lump sum death benefit claims. The Woodlawn-based agency did not immediately respond to a request for more information about which types of claims are being processed.

"Our goal is to treat all Americans with dignity and respect," Colvin said in the statement. "We ask for continued patience from the public as we work closely with the Department of Justice to develop policies that are legally sound so we can process claims."

Colvin reiterated advice that people who believe they may be eligible for benefits apply now.

The Supreme Court in June struck down a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that prohibited the government from recognizing gay marriages for purposes of certain federal benefits.

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