I live in Iowa and married my same-sex partner. Can I receive Social Security benefits based on my spouse’s earnings?

Yes.  The Supreme Court recently struck down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman only.  As a result of this ruling, federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, cannot deny benefits to same-sex couples that reside in states that recognize their marriage.  Iowa is one of thirteen states that currently recognize same-sex marriage, so a married same-sex couple living in Iowa should be entitled to social security spousal or survivor benefits.

Timothy J. Cuddigan
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Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience