social security

The Social Security Administration announced Friday that it would begin accepting benefit claims related to same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court in June found the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. It ruled that the federal government couldn’t treat same-sex marriages approved by some states any differently than heterosexual marriages.

The ruling affects more than 1,000 federal regulations on everything from tax breaks to entitlement benefits.

Prior to the ruling, an individual in a same-sex marriage was unable to claim survivor benefits from Social Security when a spouse died, and a couple was unable to claim a 50-percent Social Security marriage bonus to their retirement benefits.

“The President has directed the Attorney General to work with other members of his Cabinet to review the recent Supreme Court decision and determine its impact on Federal benefit programs – including benefits administered by Social Security – to ensure that we implement the decision swiftly and smoothly,” Social Security Administration spokesman Mark Hinkle said.