Social Security's commitment to the LQBTQI+ community

Social Security’s commitment to the LQBTQI+ community

June is Pride Month. It’s a time to acknowledge the LGBTQI+ community and celebrate diversity,
love, and respect.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that
same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states.

We recognize same-sex marriages in all states, as well as some nonmarital legal relationships (such
as some civil unions and domestic partnerships) in some states. This recognition is important to
determine entitlement to benefits.

Here are a few things you should know about our benefits for same-sex couples:

Marital status is important — A member of a same-sex couple may be entitled to benefits when a
spouse receives retirement or disability or dies.

What type of benefits you can receive Social Security taxes pay for 3 kinds of benefits:
retirement, disability, and survivors. If you’re entitled to benefits, your spouse and eligible family
members may receive benefits, too.

When you apply for benefits is important — If you’re legally married, we encourage you to seek
orientation right away.

Report life changes right away — You should let us know if you move, marry, separate, divorce or
become the parent of a child. Let us know if you change your name. You should report changes as
soon as possible so benefits are paid correctly
For more information, please visit our website for same-sex couples at
You can also read our publication What Same-Sex Couples Need to Know at

For inquiries on Social Security, please access, call 1-800-772-1213 or
visit your local field office, which address is available at

Expert Column By Víctor Rodríguez
Public Affairs Specialist
Social Security Administration
For the U.S.  Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico