Changes to federal benefits after passing of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) have taken place. Now that it’s been months since DOMA passed, its helpful to look at how these changes may affect you and your partner.
A number of federal agencies have released information about changes to federal programs and benefits as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision:
Taxes – The Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruled that “same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes”. This ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or not.
Social Security Benefits – The Social Security Administration now recognizes same-sex marriages for purposes of determining benefits.
Medicare – All beneficiaries in private Medicare plans now have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives.
U.S. Visas for Same-Sex Spouses – U.S. embassies and consulates will process visa applications for same-sex marriages the same as for opposite gender spouses.
Benefits for Uniformed Servicemembers – The Department of Defense will extend benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed service members and civilian employees.
Benefits for Federal Employees (PDF) – The Office of Personnel Management is now able to provide benefits to legally married same-sex spouses of federal employees and annuitants.
For more information on how Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) affects you, read: The Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act: What it Means