TN 33 (07-17)

GN 00210.800 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Same-Sex Marriages and Same-Sex Couples

CITATIONS: Social Security Act 1614(b) and 1614(d) 20 CFR 416.1801 through 416.1835

Following the 2013 U.S. v. Windsor Supreme Court decision, we began recognizing some same-sex marriages for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) purposes.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court found in Obergefell v. Hodges that all states must permit same-sex marriage and recognize valid same-sex marriages from other states.

Because of the Obergefell decision, we recognize same-sex couples as married in all states for purposes of determining eligibility or payment amount for SSI, including some same-sex couples we earlier determined were unmarried.

NOTE: For cases involving Title XVI overpayments, please refer to EM–16013 REV2 for detailed instructions.

A. Recognition of same-sex marriages for SSI purposes

We recognize marriages between individuals of the same sex for SSI purposes in all states. We recognize a valid same-sex marriage as of the date of the marriage, including dates before the June 26, 2015 Obergefell decision.

When selecting the month to apply a finding of a same-sex marriage for SSI deeming purposes, or to apply the SSI eligible couple’s payment rate and resource limit to a member of a same-sex couple, do not consider:

  • the date of the Windsor Supreme Court decision, June 26, 2013;

  • the date of the Obergefell Supreme Court decision, June 26, 2015; or

  • the date that the laws of the state where the couple make or made their permanent home first recognized same-sex marriages performed in that state or in any other jurisdiction.

To determine marital status, refer to SI 00501.150 Determining Whether a Marital Relationship Exists and SI 00501.152 Determining Whether Two Individuals Are Holding Themselves Out as a Married Couple.

For marriages and relationships established in foreign jurisdictions, also refer to GN 00210.006 Same-Sex Marriages and Non-Marital Legal Relationships Established in Foreign Jurisdictions.

B. Processing instructions for SSI claims, appeals, and post-eligibility actions involving the determination of a same-sex marital relationship

Develop all initial claim applications, appeals, and post-eligibility actions in MSSICS. Enter the code that applies to the marriage status alleged at the time of the application as the first four positions of the unit on the development worksheet (DW01):

  • Marriage - Code 626M

  • Holding Out - Code 626H

  • Other - Code 626O Use this code when two individuals are married for SSI purposes because they are entitled to Title II benefits, one as the spouse of the other.

IMPORTANT: Retain the unit code you selected for the type of same-sex marriage alleged, regardless of the determination or changes made in the adjudicative level of the case.

C. References

  • EM–16013 REV2 Processing SSI Overpayments Resulting from Same-Sex Marriage

  • GN 00210.006 Same-Sex Marriages and Same-Sex Non-Marital Legal Relationships Established in Foreign Jurisdictions

  • SI 00501.010 Determining Child Status for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Purposes

  • SI 00501.015 Determining Parent-Child Relationships for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Purposes

  • SI 00501.150 Determining Whether a Marital Relationship Exists

  • SI 00501.152 Determining Whether Two Individuals Are Holding Themselves Out as a Married Couple


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200210800
GN 00210.800 - Same-Sex Marriage, SSI Same-Sex Couples, and SSI Deeming from a Same-Sex Ineligible Spouse - 12/22/2014
Batch run: 07/14/2017
Rev:07/14/2017