General, Retirement, SSI, Survivors

Supreme Court Decision Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

July 9, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Court gravel laying in front of a rainbow flagOn June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states. As a result, more same-sex couples will be recognized as married for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

Since a previous Supreme Court decision in 2013, the Social Security Administration has been able to recognize some same-sex marriages and non-marital legal same-sex relationships for purposes of determining entitlement to or eligibility for benefits. We also consider same-sex marriage when processing claims for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Marriage may affect your SSI eligibility or payment amount.

We’re working closely with the Department of Justice to develop and implement policy and processing instructions to implement the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court decision. As we have additional information, we’ll update our website and issue instructions to our staff.

In the meantime, if you’re a spouse, divorced spouse, or surviving spouse of a same-sex marriage or non-marital legal same-sex relationship, we encourage you to apply right away for benefits. Applying now will preserve your filing date, which will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits.

For other helpful information on how same-sex marriage may affect your claim, please visit our Same-Sex Couples web page. 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.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Ginger

    This blog has become useless to those who are seeking social security benefits information.

  2. Fred

    You can never normalize the abnormal. It can only lead to the destruction of those who try and the civilizations that embrace it. It is our moral decline that the Islamist is abhorred with. But, unlike the Islamist, Christianity preaches forgiveness, mercy and compassion. May God give us courage and confidence to speak out against the abnormal and still have compassion for those who embrace it.

  3. Chip

    This blog should be to discuss procedure and process. It really is not a place for socio-religio-political debates. There are many other forums for that. Marriage Equality is now the determination of the law, which the SSA must abide. Hopefully the moderator will remove all of the soapbox comments and we can move forward!

  4. RE A.

    Name callers and haters should mind their own business.

  5. Nat

    If you don’t agree with this they call you names. I see this as legalized fraud on insurance companies, benefit programs and the Social Security Insurance System. They don’t even consummate some of these relationships. It’s “kiss me quick” and we can get spousal benefits.

    • Andrew

      Hi Nat,

      I hope you are having a pleasant day.

      I’m a proud american, I served my country, and I’m happy that we have the social security system that also helps serve our citizens.

      I don’t know if you are aware of these facts, but I like to share, so here goes:
      1. There are more straight people than gay.
      2. Straight and gay people are both capable of being dishonest, and taking advantage of our systems.

      With those two facts, I can draw the extremely likely conclusion, that straight people, of which I am one, are responsible for most of the SSA fraud that happens.

      Just a thought.

      Have a great day!

  6. Mark

    The legalization of nationwide same-sex marriage is a step in the right direction. There is much more work to be done to fully realize the goal of equality for all. We must all work together to achieve this. All people deserve happiness and we are really just one large family in this country. Let’s support each other regardless of our differences. Our differences make this country great.

  7. Bud

    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭26-32‬ ESV)

  8. North S.

    Thank you Nancy for a sane response to a volitile issue. It is not our place to judge. The Bible can be used to interpret for good or evil – justifying slavery for example, as can the Koran, – Isis terrorism for example – with many different interpretations of what is good or bad. Pray, ask for guidance and live your life the best YOU can and let God worry about the rest.

  9. Alan E.

    Why not? We give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens. Why not add homosexual citizens to the list. America is lost.

    • Diana G.

      How about adding legal spouses of inmates?

    • Shaun

      Actually, what is soon to be lost is your bigoted way of thinking. And that’s a good thing!

    • Margaret

      Homosexuals are citizens (if they’re here legally) and have always been eligible for S.S. benefits. No one has ever been asked about their sexual habits! It’s the “marriages” part of all this that is so disgusting.

  10. Ken

    Bad decision by the Supreme Court results in bad public policy and further drain on the Social Security Trust. Ongoing negative consequences for our nation and the principles it was founded on.

    • Dawn A.

      Guys Gals. Lets respect !!! Now if you are on SSI or SSID and you marry a person ON the same you NO NOT get more money they take half of your money and put your spouse case You get no more money it stayes the same They say 2 can live on one

      • Leroy


        • Leroy

          Guess that should have been HUH???

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