The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced in a status conference in federal court that there will be new rules as a result of the United States Supreme Courts Obergefell decision legalizing same sex marriage.
Representatives from SSA met with Lambda Legal, a gay rights legal advocacy group, to discuss the changes, although the timing of the rollout was not yet revealed.
How this ruling will Affect Michigan Residents:
Previously, surviving same sex partners who lived in states that did not recognize same sex marriage (like Michigan) were denied spousal rights. According to the Department of Justice, this change in policy will now be enacted retroactively for all pending claims (as well as pending litigation).
Social Security Benefits include a small death benefit. Even more significantly, surviving spouses receive a portion of their spouses’ Social Security for the rest of their lives, a large amount of money that same sex partners were losing upon the deaths of their spouses.
It is not clear when these changes will be officially announced. Furthermore the SSA has not divulged when the changes will take effect.