IMPORTANT: UNDER SUPREME COURT’S RULING IN OBERGEFELL, SOME PEOPLE WHOSE EARLIER MARRIAGE TO A PERSON OF THE SAME SEX IS NOW RECOGNIZED MAY NOW BE ELIGIBLE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY SPOUSAL OR WIDOW’S BENEFITS AND SHOULD APPLY ASAP, AND PREFERABLY BY THIS MONTH, TO MAXIMIZE BENEFITS
BENEFITS UNDER MEDICARE AND MEDICAID MAY ALSO BE NEWLY AVAILABLE
Your clients may be eligible for Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid benefits based on the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage rights. These clients should make the relevant applications ASAP, and preferably by this month, to begin eligibility at the earliest possible date.
Immediate impact of the Obergefell Marriage Rights Decision: Some married persons may be eligible immediately for previously inaccessible Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid benefits. Please read the following to see if it applies to you:
Why should I apply now? If you are married but your marriage was not recognized prior to the Supreme Court decision, you may have had reduced eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid, because these programs have treated you as unmarried. You and your spouse now may have the right to have your marriage considered in eligibility determinations.
Why is June 30 important? The beginning date of benefits generally is based on the month of application. A delay from June 30 to July 1 or from July 31 to August 1 might mean loss of a month of benefits, or a month of health coverage. Don’t wait. Apply now even if you are not sure if and when you qualify.
What kind of benefits are now available? Status as a married person is relevant for determining eligibility for benefits such as the following:
Here are some situations in which status as a married person might be particularly important for determination of benefits:
What do I need to do? For Social Security and Medicare, contact Social Security ASAP and preferably by Tuesday, June 30:
Medicaid eligibility is handled by local Medicaid offices. Contact your county or your state Medicaid agency for additional information. Again, application should be made ASAP, and preferably by June 30.
BOTTOM LINE: Get this process started. Contact Social Security and/or Medicaid to apply for benefits.
Be sure to get a confirmation number or other confirmation to show when your application was filed.