Lambda Legal announced today (Tuesday, March 8) that it has won a case against Social Security Administration brought on behalf of a Texas widow.
Kathy Murphy was denied survivors benefits after her wife died in 2012. She and her wife were together 30 years and married in Massachusetts in 2010. Because Texas didn’t recognize the marriage and Social Security is based on place of residence, she was denied benefits.
But the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage allows couples to filed amended tax returns and now to update their retirement benefits.
In it’s announcement of the ruling, Lambda Legal wrote:
“We are also pleased to announce that the SSA has finally updated its instructions to its staff in accordance with the historic Obergefell v. Hodges ruling last June. SSA has also issued other guidance to staff to manage claims from the LGBT community.”
Social Security is now instructing its staff to recognize the date of marriage no matter where the couple married or where the couple now lives.