Social Security is open to survivors of same-sex couples who can’t get married

Starting at age 60 – or age 50 for people with disabilities – a survivor can apply for a deceased spouse’s Social Security benefits (if the amount is higher than the survivor’s rate). survivors, or if survivors have no work history to qualify) or apply for them temporarily and delay making their own claim (allowing their benefits to increase until they reach full retirement age). retirement or more).

Trinh Phan, senior attorney at Justice in Aging, said: “The surviving spouses can have a much higher income. As reported by the Social Security Administration, the average survivor’s benefit is $1,467 a month.

For example, Ms. Thornton has always worked for nonprofits – first food cooperatives, then theatres – and has never made as much money as Ms. Brown, an employee and lecturer. at The Evergreen State College.

On her own, Ms. Thornton had to apply for Social Security early, at age 62, and turn to babysitting to supplement her $953-a-month allowance. She lives frugally and does not visit her family often. “I can’t just buy a plane ticket and fly to California,” she said. “I had to put off maintenance on my house for years.”

However, after Social Security started paying survivors benefits, her monthly income nearly doubled, to $1,849. And she received a $72,000, retroactive payment for the years the agency denied her application.

Some people who did not know, and perhaps could not know, were never able to marry their deceased same-sex partner. But the second group has also qualified for victims’ rights: same-sex couples who have been married for less than nine months, the legal threshold for victims’ rights, before one spouse dies.

Anthony Gonzales and his partner, Mark Johnson, have lived together in Albuquerque, NM, for nearly 16 years, thinking they would never be able to marry in their state. Social Security is open to survivors of same-sex couples who can’t get married

Fry Electronics Team

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