Social Security benefits are monetary benefits extended by the federal government to certain Michiganders who do not have the means to earn enough to live. Such benefits are provided to retired, disabled and survivors of people who were receiving benefits, but who have passed away. It is a way to ensure that they receive minimum monetary support required to meet the basic needs and medical care expenses. That ensures that they live a meaningful life, which they deserve.
Certain Social Security benefits, such as retirement benefits and survivor benefits, can be passed on to the spouses. In light of the recent Supreme Court’s decision, which declared same-sex marriages constitutional, same-sex marriages will now be recognized in Michigan. Therefore, same-sex couples can now have their status reviewed with the authorities and their marriages will be recognized. The Supreme Court’s decision will not merely change the tax status of same-sex couples, but it will also entitle them to certain Social Security benefits that are available to other married couples.
The members of Congress are now encouraging the newly recognized couples to claim their Social Security benefits as legally married couples. The Social Security Administration is urged to notify spouses, widows, widowers and children of the newly recognized same-sex marriages about their eligibility of benefits. As a result of an earlier decision in 2013, the federal government had already started to offer Social Security benefits to same-sex couples. The office of Social Security Administration has already started receiving applications for the updated benefits.
The Social Security Administration is also taking steps to inform the public about their newly acquired right to claim Social Security benefits. They are encouraging spouses, divorced spouse and surviving spouses of same-sex couples to apply for Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income.
Source: MLive.com, “Married gay couples need guidance from Social Security Administration, says Michigan Congressman,” Khalil AlHajal, July 25, 2015