The Obama administration on Friday
announced that it was in the process of issuing Social Security
benefits for married gay and lesbian couples.
Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle
said in a statement that the agency has begun taking claims from
married gay couples who believe they are eligible for benefits.
“The President has directed the
Attorney General to work with other members of his Cabinet to review
the recent Supreme Court decision and determine its impact on Federal
benefit programs – including benefits administered by Social
Security – to ensure that we implement the decision swiftly and
smoothly,” Hinkle said.
“We are taking claims now from
individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security
benefits. We will process these claims as soon as we have finalized
The change comes less than a month
after the Supreme Court gutted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in
a historic ruling which said that the federal government must
recognize the legal marriages of gay couples.
“We are working with the Department
of Justice to determine how the decision affects our programs and to
develop appropriate instructions for our personnel,” he added.
Other federal agencies are undergoing
similar changes to comply with the mandate.