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History: Same-Sex Partners Now Able To Access Social Security Survivors Benefits

Happening Out Television Network

Same-sex partners and spouses will now have access to Social Security survivors benefits they were previously denied due to now-defunct bans on gay marriage. In the past, surviving partners who had been barred from legally marrying were ineligible to receive benefits. Couples who were able to marry could only successfully apply for benefits if they were married for at least nine months, even if that wasn't possible due to previous bans on marriage. In 2018, LGBTQ rights group Lambda Legal filed two lawsuits against the Social Security Administration (SSA) over the decrees. Federal courts in Arizona and Washington ruled last year that excluding surviving partners from benefits was unconstitutional, however the Trump administration appealed those decisions. The Justice Department and Social Security Administration announced Monday that they dismissed the appeals.