Social Security’s Commitment to the LGBTQI+ Community

June 22, 2023 • By

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Last Updated: June 22, 2023

An individual staring at a computer off camera.Every June, we commemorate Pride Month by honoring the LGBTQI+ community and celebrating diversity, love, and equality.

Pride Month is also a perfect time to learn more about LGBTQI+ rights. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry. The Obergefell decision allows more same-sex couples and their families to benefit from our programs.

We recognize same-sex couples’ marriages in all states, and certain non-marital legal relationships (such as some civil unions and domestic partnerships). This recognition is important when determining entitlement to benefits.

Here are five things you should know about our benefits for same-sex couples:

  • Marital status is important — A member of a same-sex couple may be entitled to benefits when a spouse receives retirement or disability benefits, or dies. We also consider marital status when we determine eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • You can receive different types of benefits — Social Security taxes pay for three kinds of benefits: retirement, disability, and survivors. If you’re entitled to benefits, your spouse and eligible family members might receive benefits, too.
  • Children may receive benefits — Your children or stepchildren could also be entitled to benefits.
  • When you apply for benefits is important — If you’re married or have entered a non-marital legal relationship, we encourage you to apply right away, even if you’re not sure you’re eligible. Applying now may protect you against the loss of any potential benefits.
  • If you already receive Social Security benefits or SSI, report life changes right away — You should let us know immediately if you move, marry, separate, divorce, or become the parent of a child. Don’t wait until we review your benefits to tell us about any changes. You should report changes right away, so your benefits are paid correctly.

For more information, please visit our webpage for same-sex couples. You can also read our publication What Same-Sex Couples Need to Know. Please share this information with your friends and family – and post it on social media.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Kevin H.

    Two of our greatest presidents (Washington & Lincoln) are celebrated on one day. A commemoration of millions of dead soldiers throughout the nation’s history is celebrated in one day. The independence of the country is celebrated on one day. The birth of the son of God is celebrated in one day. But a minuscule (2%) but obnoxiously loud sub-set of the population are celebrated and the country is decked out in rainbows for ONE ENTIRE MONTH for Pride Month. The rest of the world is laughing at us.

    • Trace R.


      The rest of the World is celebrating along with us. Why so upset about a mere 2% of the population (according to you..)?

  2. Concerned c.

    The government has no right to spend a single dime of taxpayer money, or money invested by workers into the retirement system to push an agenda that the vast majority of taxpaying Americans do not agree with. Why is it the 2% get to dictate to the 98% what is right, or what MUST be accepted by everyone?

    • Marc P.

      Yeah, why DO the less than 1/3 of the MAGAts get to dictate what happens to the vast majority of normal Americans when it comes to our very Constitutional rights and more? I’ve been wondering myself for years how it ever happened that the noisy minority of bigots and haters are running our country into the ground? And just as an aside, where did you get that 2% figure? The LGBTQ+community (of whom I am not a part, in case you’re wondering) is far greater than 2% of this country. Just sayin.

      • Kevin H.

        US Census Bureau (2021) there were 1.2 million same-sex couple households in the United States, 59% of which were married households. I’ll let you triple that figure just to be nice to account for single-person households and those who don’t self-identify on the census or with the IRS.

    • Walter S.

      I do not agree with same sex marriage. Makes no sense whatsoever but I know that my opinion has no importance and is akin to shouting into the wind. This country is on a downhill spiral that is unstoppable. The wealthy control this country and as their wealth increases so will their power. They will prevail.

  3. Brad C.

    SSA employees who are part of the Agency’s “Diversity and Inclusion” program are authorized to participate in Program activities while on official duty time as opposed to performing the duties normally expected of them.

    So no, the Agency is not concerned about anyone’s gender, sexuality, pronoun preference, race, religion, or favorite flavor of ice cream any more than it’s Executive Position holders are interested in the white middle-class family with 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket fence around a house full of junk floating on a 30 year ARM loan.

    If there is any confusion as to what my above statement means ask yourself this question:

    Assume you work at the City Dump. You are given a choice of what type of “work” you will be expected to perform each day.

    You only have two choices:

    1. You can shuffle trash around the landfill heap in a forklift for 8 hours, OR

    2. You can hang out in the CFO’s Executive Suite eating Panera bagels & drinking Starbucks Iced Mocha Lattes compliments of the Board of Directors and brainstorm on how to convince city inhabitants the Sanitation Department is deeply vested in the plight of the 3 non-English speaking black cisgender undocumented immigrants who represent < 1% of the population.

    You will receive the same pay regardless of which option you choose.

    Hopefully someone out there comprehends the hypothetical analogy I described, and will sleep a little better tonight knowing that indeed, the Executives at the heads of these government agencies don't care about anything or anyone besides their own financial statuses. They don't care about white people, black people, brown people, gay people, straight people, physically disabled people, mentally disabled people, old people, young people, "legal" immigrants, "illegal" immigrants, Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, "evil" people, "non-evil" people, pronoun preference, restroom preference, or if you have a parasitic twin who creates conflict in your social life.

    Unless you have the minimum amount of money required to "blip" on government executives' radar (at least $500K in liquid assets) rest assured THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU.

    Next time you find yourself questioning the "hidden" agendas of "special interest groups", I encourage you to take the time to follow the cash flow. If you can add one plus one to calculate the answer as "two", you will realize the agenda leaves a trail of cash that ends at the bottom dollar. THERE is the answer to all you seek to know.

    • Debbie

      Sorry… I don’t agree with calling it “marriage.” However, I do agree that some secular laws do need to change; for example, allowing a “significant other “ into an ICU unit- not only “family” members. I believe in supporting homosexuals on an individual basis. I have worked with some “openly gay” folks and they have been fine folks; but I want the option to like/dislike a person based on who they are- not according to sexual orientation, race, etc.

      • Don R.

        Great Job! I couldn’t have written it better.

      • Corporate A.

        Why do you feel it is necessary to share your personal feelings regarding a subject that the majority of Americans will not accept? Its absurd that you are more concerned over mentally disturbed and unstable people, who, for whatever reason believe they could ever have a place in a Conservative based society? Put your focus on actually learning that you have been deceived into believing America is a free country. It isnt. you are a US British Citizen of the British Crown Commonwealth. America was illegally registered as a Corporation since 1871, including all branches of govt and Congress. Stupidity is not an excuse.

  4. Jeff

    This CRAP all starts in Washington, D.C.

    As it is properly named: “The Devils Playground”

    I don’t support these FREAKS! And this corrupt government needs to stop this kind of support.

    These FREAKS have judgement waiting for them from a MUCH Higher Authority!

    • Brad C.

      News Flash: you also have judgment waiting for you from a “MUCH” Higher Authority. Let’s hope the Higher Authority has a stronger grasp on the concept of consistency in regards to the proposed judgment orders.

    • yjerome

      I agree but in my day they were call queers,mind you they kept to themselves,this day and age from my perspectiveit seems like they are pushing it down or throat and to our children which is not right.
      If you want to be queer great keep it to yourself s,sorry im old-fashionedthere is two genders male and female.
      Remember there was a male and female that made you.

      • Corporate A.

        I completely agree. It is perfectly clear these delusional public servants have completely forgotten they have NO power above the people. Without the Peoples taxes they will not exist. To bypass the concerns and ignore the peoples demands SSA is in violation of several policies. Clearly they believe they have the power to control the lives of the disabled, vets, retirees, widows and surviving children, if and when they receive the peoples tax money. For any citizen to wait years on benefits is completely outrageous. Its criminal. They is no difference between Snap, LEAP, Medical or housing benefits and SSA benefits. People do not need a lawyer to apply for Snap, etc nor should we for applying for SSA. The gall of this incompetent public service to want more money to “modernize” a useless website they recently spent millions to update and to hire more people is beyond infuriating. An agency that is entrusted with our money allows “lawyer payees” to steal millions, and presidents to steal millions with and a useless “I owe u”, and allow illegals to steal millions must be denied. Issuing paper checks became too much work for useless employees so they down sized by issuing debit cards. Direct Express , a 3rd party has been reported by the BBB and Consumers Report as the worst card company in history. millions in benefits are hacked daily from peoples cards, then disputes are denied. My card was drained May 2022 I couldnt pay my rent, their dispute policy takes 90 days. My card was cancelled within 24 hrs. I didnt have a dime. A new card takes 7 to 10 days in the mail. If you dont get it you must immediately call c.s. Of course I didnt get mine, 5 days I called 28 times just to hung up on for calling at peak times. 2-3-4-5am are peak times? the 6th day at 1;30 am a person answered. That card was cancelled, now I had to pay 20$ for another card over night. Liars. 28 days and 60$ I got my card. Too late, I lost my apt before my card came. 67 and disabled I was homeless. No money for a storage unit, I lost everything I ever own in my life. I loathe SSA. I will never have another apt, my benefit is only 805$ a month, my service dog and I live in my tiny Hyundai accent. Any day my transmission will go out. You could say I truly hate SSA.

  5. Lilian P.

    Is very important this Topic about Benefit Social Security Commitment to the LGBTQI+ Community this month celebrating diversity, love and equality, rights, the aboge full decision allows more same sex couples and this families to benefit from our programs.
    Here are five things you should know about our benefits for same sex couple important when determining, recognize same sex couple and certain non mortal legal relationship(such as civil union and domestic partnerships)
    1-Marital status is important.
    2-You can receive different types of benefits.
    3-Children may receive benefits.
    4-When you apply for benefits is important……
    5-If you already receive Social Security benefits or SSI.

  6. Bill M.

    SS needs to be committed to ALL Americans period. Never should they brake out any particular group. Get back to managing our retirement money only and stay away from politics and groups of people. It should be American only!

    • MajJohn

      You hit the nail on the head. You along with most folks feel everyone should be treated equally and the government should stop pandering to one group.

    • Wayne B.

      Well said. Stick to business and stop dividing people because they want a special group. Just continue to treat everyone equally and move on. Stop wasting time and money. Live and let live.

  7. LAS

    Tired of this being shoved down our throats. Leave sex in the bedroom. Keep it out of government. No one really cares about your sexual habits. Just leave it alone!
    Spend a little more time feeding the poor and caring for our Vets,

  8. James K.

    Don’t want to hear this type of BS. Keep sexuality out of it and just be committed to everyone!

  9. Cory L.

    The FREAKS are a minority and they are EVIL!
    Your FEDERAL government who is supposed to work for the people and you practice tyranny! Keep your SATANIC, Maxist ideology away from my fellows human beings! You belong with you FREAKS, so start your own DARK group!

    • TAR

      What are you even talking about? Satanic? Evil?

      • Corporate A.

        Seriously? Figure it out.

  10. Mark

    NO!!! Stop this immediately!
    No support for pedophiles and pedophile supporters!!!

    • Rudolph B.

      Only God can approve HOLY marriage, All other isn’t Godly and the people who approve same sex marriage are antichrist and are going to hell!

      • A c.

        God created a Man and a woman to have children and create a family. No same sex marriage will have a family, they can’t, so after all this is a devil plan at long term to destroy the family and the goverment is allowing this to happen. To make things worse now they want to brain wash kids and make them believe that they will be allowed to change gender if they want. Those are the plans of devil minds.

Comments are closed.