Recognizing LGBT History Month

October 17, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

lgbt-historySocial Security is committed to treating all Americans fairly. This commitment extends to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people covered by Social Security’s many programs.

October is also National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) History Month. It’s a month-long annual observance of the history of the gay rights movement. First observed in 1994 to coincide with National Coming Out Day, the month has evolved to include a more diverse range of people identifying as LGBT.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states and have their marriages recognized in all states. This decision made it possible for more same-sex couples and their families to benefit from Social Security.

We now recognize same-sex couples’ marriages in all states, and some non-marital legal relationships, for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits, Medicare entitlement, and eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). We also recognize same-sex marriages and some non-marital legal relationships established in foreign jurisdictions for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits, Medicare entitlement, and SSI eligibility.

We encourage anyone who is unsure whether they are entitled or eligible for Social Security to apply right away for benefits. Applying now will protect against the loss of any potential benefits.

If you have any questions about how to apply for benefits, call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). We can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday. We treat all calls confidentially.

Visit to apply for benefits and learn more about our policies for same-sex couples.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Sue

    Do you have a special month to recognize Heterosexual History? If you want to be fair to all, you should also give recognition to heterosexual history!

    • Derek

      Amen to that too!!!

  2. Herschel O.

    Any consideration given to “Recognizing the Caucasian part of the USA population” month of each year?

    • Derek

      Amen to that!!!

  3. Douglas M.

    I believe in hating the “Sin” but loving the sinner. No temptation has befallen man that can not be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus faced and conquered “all” our temptations. Homosexuality is not a sin until it is acted upon and practiced. No different than adultery, alcoholism, and other failures of the human race. Anyone who forsakes this lifestyle and turns to Jesus can be forgiven and have eternal life with other believing Christians. You can’t have your cake and eat it,too, no puns intended.

    • Mike

      What about somebody of a different faith?
      I am not trolling you, I respect that you were just stating your beleif, in a respectful manner, and that is how discussion moves forward.
      So I honestly am curious about your thoughts here.

  4. Robert T.

    ….and, Cortez… What does race have to do with any of this discussion of the SICKNESS and CHOICE of being a Homosexual? The discussion is about a GOVERNMENT AGENCY “celebrating” abnormal sexual deviancy! Why do “you people” always have to inject RACE into every situation that is counter to you way of thinking? Then, you turn around and call US the racists! You are always the ones bringing it up.

    • Mike

      “You people”…. divisive and racist words, yet you accuse Cortez of bringing up racism? Yes he pointed out that he is hispanic, that does not equal claiming discrimination.
      And really, we are not the ones being discriminated against. Who are you to say what he has had to endure?

  5. Robert T.

    How is it that posting facts is hate? Homosexuality is ABNORMAL, period!!! Johns-Hopkins made a study and found that Gay is a CHOICE and NOT something genetic. It is a mental aberration. A male sex organ was DESIGNED to mate with the sex organ of a female, period. The female was provided with the necessary lubrication capabilities that are NOT present in males. DUH!!! Feces is NOT a lubricant and certainly not something that makes a sexual experience pleasant in any way. And, then there is the question of e-coli contamination. Homosexuality is beyond SICK!!! It meets the definition of DISGUSTING!!! What kind of world do we now live in that our Government actually PARTICIPATES in the “celebration” of SICKNESS?????

  6. tammy

    Happy the Socialist Security system has come around, but your opening sentence is WAY OFF!!!!!

    “Social Security is committed to treating ALL Americans fairly”. Really, ALL Americans? Maybe it should read “Social Security is committed to treating all Americans fairly unless you happen to be an adult disabled child and marry an able bodied person, then we will leave you out in the wind”.

    Equality should mean that you can marry whomever you want to, no matter their biological sex, but if you are an ADULT DISABLED CHILD and you happen to marry an “able bodied person”, no matter what your sexual orientation is, the socialist security system will use a special “RULE” to deny you benefits. Its their gift of discrimination, justified by their rules, which they impose upon people. In this day and age of “Equality”, there is NO EQUALITY when it comes to Social Security RULES!

    I am 45 years old, a mother of three older children and physically disabled ( I was born with cerebral palsy ). I’ve never collected one red cent of money from the Socialist Security System, even though I have applied several times and they find me disabled.

    Technically, I am an “adult disabled child” (please look this up, it is NOT SSI or SSDI) but have never been able to secure any benefits whatsoever from the Socialist Security system, even under that program because I got married to an “Able bodied person”. The Socialist Security system is too busy paying benefits to some people who scam the system and worrying about adult disabled children (who they pay benefits to off of a parents record) marrying an able bodied person. This gives them the justification to cut off benefits to the adult disabled child because the husband (in theory) can now support the disabled person. This theory works great, if your husband is rich and you have no need for money but what it actually does, is to force two adults (one disabled one able bodied person) to live off of one income. In the real world, the socialist security system is forcing adult disabled children to only marry other disabled persons (and NO able bodied persons) at the threat of loosing any and all benefits that they are entitled to.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

    • Marc

      OMG, and here it is, yet again!

      Just for the benefit of everyone here: this woman posts this same rant – clearly a cut and paste job – on every single blog post on this site. She can’t be bothered to read the actual facts on this very website which describe what benefits and “adult disabled child” is entitled to. You’re not entitled to these, you do not qualify, according to the facts you’ve presented. Yet you post nasty criticism against the government everyday because you think they owe you a second income. They don’t. Social Security is for those of us who WORKED and PAID INTO THE SYSTEM, and our dependents and survivors. It also pays benefits for those of us who WORKED AND PAID INTO THE SYSTEM but became disabled and so cannot work any longer. SSI helps LOW INCOME disabled people who didn’t eork. You do not fit into any of these categories any more. You got married. It was your choice. You are your husband’s dependant. That’s the way it is. Please stop posting this tinfoil hat BS, because we’re all sick of it.

      • Mike

        I know Marc, I and many others have tried to reply to her with very clearly explained answers for her, but she refuses to pay attention. She is one of those folks who have it in their head that they deserve benefits even though they clearly don’t qualify. Or in her case, didn’tt b other to look into whether getting married would affect her benefits before going ahead and doing it. Tammy did this to herself, and now wants to blame the system she has never paid into, for her not meeting the qualifications. Ugh…I am tired of the same exact rant in every post

  7. Ben R.

    Taking this article into account it would only be equitable to pass social security benefits upon ones death to family members that are still alive. No different that what is proposed in the article.

    • Cortez

      Unfortunately, in the past when a person that was not legally recognized as being in a relationship passed away before retirement, the money they paid into SS was never collected. It’s not like an insurance policy where you designate a beneficiary. If I had passed away before my non-biological child was still a minor, she would not have been eligible to receive benefits even though I have been her parent since prior to her conception. My contributions would have evaporated.

      • suculento

        Hey mexican bad boy…!!!!!!!!!!
        Why don’t you educate yourself, you used all the time of your pity life getting banged up.
        Go cross the southern border back to where you came from.

      • Mike

        Which is another reason these types of reforms have been long overdue. Good luck to you Cortez

  8. Marc

    The real perverts here are the people (?) posting their disgusting hate and vitriol in the name of God. Funny, you all claim to be “Christians” and insist this is supposed to be a “Christian” nation (news flash – it’s not) yet you spew this vile venom allover an entire group of people you know absolutely nothing about. I am as familiar with the Bible as any of you- I daresay moreso – and it is a fact that JESUS spent his entire 3 year ministry preaching one thing LOVE. ONE ANOTHER. He ate with the sinners, not the saints, and he preached love and acceptance for ALL. Whether or not you agree is irrelevant; the Bible says what it ssys, either you follow your savior or you don’t. And Jesus NEVER qualified his statement “love one another” with an “except for the ones who” or “unless.” Sorry there it is. You cannot use your religion to promote hatred and still claim to follow Jesus- which is it?

    I won’t even go into the FACTS about the Constitution which was why the LGBT community finally achieved the civil rights they’d been wrongfully denied before, sufficient it to say that the Supreme Court could not make any other decision, as the Constitution forbids ANY group of people to be singled out and denied the SAME rights enjoyed by every other citizen. That is what this country is all about.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal.” I see nothing in there that says “except gays…”

    You hateful people will have plenty to answer for on Judgment Day, as well.

    • Mike

      Marc! Finally another sane human. Spectacularly well said…Bravo

      • Berta

        I agree 100% Marc. Well said. That is what’s wrong with the world today, to much hatred!!

    • Cortez

      Marc. Thank God. A voice of sanity in a sea of nutjobs.

  9. KEC

    Only those who have paid into Social Security should benefit from it, regardless of all other reasons.

    • Natalie

      Yes I agree why do demand help from the government to engage in your pervert acts? You make me sick. Do your thing in your bedroom and work credits so you can collect your social security when you retire like everybody does!

    • Cortez

      KEC, we are talking about people who HAVE PAID into Social Security for decades. Please.

  10. Nate

    I am a sx offender too and it sure is hard to find a job. I’d like to get a free check from the government for my sxual preference also.

    • Mike

      Do you really think it’s funny to make jokes about sex offense? Go troll somewhere else. I’m tired of stupid

      • Nate

        No joke! I really am a registered — offender and am tired of being persecuted for simply making a mistake. I am currently serving a five year sentence for trying to promote my business on Facebook. As for “stupid”, I’ll wager that I have far more education then you do.

        • Mike

          I’ll wager you don’t. No you should not get help, you are right where you belong.
          Must have been a great business

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