Attorney General Loretta Lynch

On July 9, Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued the following statement:

Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Obergefell that every couple has the same right to participate in the institution of marriage, whether the partners are of the same-sex or opposite sexes, I directed Justice Department staff to work with the agencies to ensure that the ruling be given full effect across the federal government.

And with that, a number of rights that had not been available to married same-sex couples were extended to them.

Most notably social security benefits were not offered in states that didn’t recognize same-sex marriage and some veterans benefits were also denied.

What’s not clear is whether couples who were married but denied benefits because of where they lived will be able to reapply.

Couples will now qualify for survivor benefits, but it’s unclear if a surviving spouse who was denied can now reopen that claim.

Veterans will qualify for educational, medical, pension and home loan benefits.