United States v. Windsor – Overview of Supplemental Security Income Benefits for Claimants in Same-Sex Marriages, United States Social Security Administration

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This page on the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s website details which Supplemental Security Income (SSI) actions may be processed after the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor. It sets forth instructions for processing claims, appeals, and post-eligibility actions (including redeterminations) when an SSI claimant is legally married in the state where the SSI claimant and the claimant’s same-sex spouse have their permanent home.

SSA now recognizes same-sex marriage and other forms of legal same-sex relationships for SSI purposes for claims made on or after the June 26 decision, or were awaiting final determination at that time. Examples of other recognized relationships include civil unions, domestic partnerships, and reciprocal beneficiary relationships. Specific guidance has been established for claims for benefits for aged spouses, surviving spouses, and lump sum death payments. Same-sex marriage claims that do not meet the current criteria are being held until further instruction is issued. Questions related to this decision should be directed to Windsor.Policy.Questions@ssa.gov.