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Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers: Effects of Marriage Equality Act on SS Benefits

Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers discuss effects of marriage equality on social security benefitsThe Supreme Court’s landmark decision to legally recognize same-sex marriages in all 50 states is a huge step for gay rights. But with any significant change in legislation comes its own set of questions that need to be addressed and answered. Here are five important issues that all same-sex couples should consider, whether they intend to marry or not.

Status of Domestic Partnerships After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

For gay couples who have no intention of getting married, the question of what will happen to domestic partnership benefits is on many couples’ minds. In states that did not legally recognize same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships were created to provide some of the same rights that a married couple enjoys. This status was never legally recognized by the federal government, but in the few states that did, many corporations gave domestic partners certain benefits like health care. Now that the federal government recognizes same-sex marriages, it is unclear whether domestic partners will continue to receive these benefits without being married.

How Will Taxes Be Affected?

The process of filing taxes could be extremely complicated for same-sex couples, particularly if the couple was legally married in one state, but filed taxes in another. If the state did not recognize their marriage, they were required to file their state taxes separately. But they could file their federal taxes jointly.

Another important tax-related question is whether individual state governments will allow couples to amend previous years’ tax returns if their state did not recognize their marriage. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is extremely important for same-sex couples to consult with a Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer to make sure their financial rights are being protected under the new law.

Impact on Healthcare Benefits

Prior to the Marriage Equality Act, many same-sex couples were denied access to their partner’s health care benefits, even if they were married. Couples will now have the right to purchase insurance plans for their spouse and children.

The only drawback to this scenario is when a couple gets bumped up to a higher tax bracket after getting married, which can mean they may lose eligibility for certain federal subsidies.

The Effect on Social Security Benefits

According J.P. Morgan, same-sex spouses are now entitled to survivor benefits, including Social Security payments and death/disability benefits in the event something happens to a spouse. Couples can also increase their Social Security payouts if they choose to delay how soon they start to collect benefits.  Moreover, our Social Security disability lawyers in Philadelphia advocate for the disabled and their auxiliaries may be eligible if they are eligible for SSD. That means that the defendant same sex spouse of a disabled worker can receive benefits under SSD.

Should Changes be Made to a Couple’s Will?

State law determines how a person’s last will and testament is handled. Prior to the Marriage Equality Act, estate planning was very difficult for a same-sex couple whose state did not legally recognize their marriage. The federal ruling means that same-sex couples can now legally specify in their will whom their assets should be passed on to when they die.

Philadelphia Social Security Disability Lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore Advocate for Same-Sex Couples

Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore are committed to helping same-sex couples take full advantage of the legal benefits they may now all enjoy. For a free consultation, call 1-800-CANT-WORK (1-800-226-8967) or submit an online contact form.

*Attorneys at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore handle Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims throughout the United States. Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and other types of cases are only handled in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

National Headquarters are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but we serve Social Security claimants in many communities throughout the United States including: New York, Miami, Tampa, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Dallas, San Antonio, Boston, Buffalo, Brooklyn, Newark, and Pennsauken.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. An attorney-client relationship is formed when the attorney and client both execute a retainer agreement.

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