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Eligible Individuals Should File Soon to Avoid Losing Benefits 
In its first public announcement since the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued a press release on July 12 stating that it is "taking claims now from individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits" and that it will "process these claims as soon as we have finalized our instructions."

This follows an internal directive to SSA employees right after the Supreme Court decision telling them to begin taking claims for spousal and survivor benefits based on same sex marriages and to hold them until further instructions are issued.  
NSCLC reads the Social Security Act as requiring that these benefits also be made available based on registered domestic partnerships or civil unions if the wage earner is domiciled in a state that recognizes the relationship and if there would be a right to inherit personal property without a will on the same basis as a married couple.  
It is important that people who think they may be eligible for spousal or survivor benefits based on a same sex relationship apply now since each month that they delay could result in the loss of a month's benefits. 
House Ways and Means Democrats have posted information on their Facebook page, urging same sex married couples and their children who may be eligible for spousal or survivor benefits based on their marriage or legal relationship to apply.  




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NSCLC staff are available to help advocates with answers to questions about program rules and requirements, reviewing and analyzing pleadings, commenting on proposed litigation, assisting in the formulation of strategies, drafting opinion letters and providing memoranda, articles and other written materials.