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Social Security processing some retirement spouse claims for same-sex couples, now paying benefits

Social Security on Friday announced that following the Supreme Court DOMA decision in June, it is now processing some retirement spouse claims and paying benefits for same-sex couples.

It's not clear yet whether claims will be paid to legally wedded couples who live in states including Florida, which don't recognize the marriages. Social Security says it is still working "through the legal issues."

Here's the news release from the White House:

Statement of Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, on Payments to Same-Sex Couples

“I am pleased to announce that Social Security is now processing some retirement spouse claims for same-sex couples and paying benefits where they are due. The recent Supreme Court decision on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, made just over a month ago, helps to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly and equally, with the dignity and respect they deserve.

We continue to work closely with the Department of Justice. In the coming weeks and months, we will develop and implement additional policy and processing instructions. We appreciate the public’s patience as we work through the legal issues to ensure that our policy is legally sound and clear.

I encourage individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits to apply now, to protect against the loss of any potential benefits. We will process claims as soon as additional instructions become finalized.”

To learn more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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