Supreme Court DOMA Ruling will not affect Colorado Same-Sex couples’ rights to Social Security

Aug 22, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will affect Social Security Disability for same-sex spouses who live in states where such marriages are recognized.  The United States v. Windsor decision prohibits the Federal Government from picking and choosing which state-sanctioned marriages to recognize.

This is not first time the Supreme Court has dealt with this issue.  As we discussed in our blog last year, the Supreme Court in Astrue v. Capato, ruled that children born after the death of the father using in vitro fertiliazation could not be considered the “dependents” of their father for purposes of Social Security benefits if the state of Florida law did not consider the children to have any inheritance rights.

Although Social Security is a Federal Law Program – the law depends upon the legal “labels” given by the states to family relationships.  Therefore, until Colorado decides to recognize same-sex marriage – same-sex partners will not have spousal social security benefits.  It is, however, only a matter of time before the other portion of DOMA is challenged.  That part of DOMA permits states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where such marriages are legal.  This likely conflicts with the Consitution’s Full Faith and Credit clause – that requires states to recognize the official acts – including marriages and divorces – recognized in other states.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits can be a confusing and long process.  but it is not always easy to get immediately approved for workers’ compensation benefits. You need the support of an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney on your side immediately. Contact us here and get the benefits you deserve.