Ivener & Fullmer LLP

SSA Updates Operations Manual Re Same-Sex Marriages in Foreign Jurisdictions


The Social Security Administration (SSA) has added a new section to its Program Operations Manual System (POMS) providing instructions for obtaining legal opinions on the validity of foreign same-sex marriages in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. The new POMS instructions include policy, process, and procedures for processing same-sex marriage cases.

The SSA noted that under Windsor, the agency is no longer prohibited from recognizing same-sex marriages for purposes of determining benefits. Consequently, all claims filed on or after June 26, 2013, or that were pending final determination at the time of that decision are subject to Windsor instructions. The SSA said it is working with the Department of Justice to interpret the decision.

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