Starting at age 60 (or 50 for those who are disabled) a survivor can either apply for a deceased spouse’s Social Security benefits or apply for them temporarily and delay claiming their own, allowing their benefit to increase until they reach full retirement age or beyond.
Almost six million of the nation’s 65 million Social Security beneficiaries receive survivor’s benefits, including children. The purpose is to care for the survivors who lose their romantic and economic partners, which is a huge financial hardship.
The Social Security Administration now allows same-sex couples to receive survivor’s benefits if they can show that they were in a committed relationship and would have married had that been possible.
With this change to Social Security policy, survivors of same-sex partners can now start the process of applying for their deceased partners’ Social Security benefits, regardless of how long ago their partners or spouses died.
When applying for a deceased partner’s Social Security benefits survivors have to produce evidence like joint bank accounts, leases, mortgages, insurance policies or wills that name a partner as beneficiary or heir in order for Social Security agents to consider approving the request.
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