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Social Security: Why Some Same-Sex Couples Still Aren't Getting Benefits

Until recently, Social Security didn't treat same-sex spouses the same as their opposite-sex counterparts, denying them spousal and survivors' benefits. The Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act opened the door to Social Security benefits for same-sex spouses, but even though the Social Security Administration has started processing payments, there's one catch that could cause problems for many same-sex couples.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, goes through marriage-equality issues for Social Security and notes how the SSA has started paying benefits to same-sex spouses. But as Dan warns, the SSA is still subject to a rule that says that only couples who live in a state that recognizes their same-sex marriage can receive benefits, leaving those who traveled to another state to get married out of luck if they live in a state that doesn't allow same-sex marriage. Dan points out that the SSA is trying to update the rule, but for now, couples need to be aware of the rule and its implications.

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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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