Social Security benefits can now be claimed by same-sex surviving partner

Mon. January 24, 2022 3:56 PM by Gerald Farinas

social security survivor's benefits

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Social Security Administration drops appeals court challenges

The Social Security Administration will now allow survivors of same-sex relationships, who can prove they would have married if marriage equality had been legalized, to collect survivor's benefits.

Lawsuits had traveled through the federal appeals courts after surviving partners were denied as Social Security beneficiaries because they were never legally married.

According to Lambda Legal, the main LGBTQ advocacy group for judicial matters, explained that two cases, Thornton v. Commissioner of Social Security and Ely v. Saul, were dropped from the appeals process. This allows the benefits to be granted moving forward.

Social Security survivor's benefits were created by Congress to provide a financial means for loved ones a person leaves behind, like spouses and children.

According to the federal government, the average survivor's benefit pays out about $1,500 per month.

That amount is a major help for survivors to maintain living costs without the ongoing income of a deceased partner.