Overpayments for Same-Sex Couples Receiving SSI
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) is a resource and income based program. That is, to receive SSI, you must be (1) disabled and unable to work AND (2) meet the income and resource requirements. The rules surrounding that resources and income requirements for SSI can be quite vast, but what’s important to know for this post is that the Social Security Administration includes your spouse’s income when they are determining your eligibility to receive SSI payments. So, how did the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act), affect the calculation of SSI benefits? In May 2015, SSA released a statement acknowledging that future SSI payments can be reduced or terminated based on the income or resources of a same-sex spouse but not for months prior. They remained silent, however, on how to process all of the potential overpayments received by same-sex spouses in months prior to the application of Windsor.
On March 16, 2016, SSA issued EM 16013 – Processing SSI Overpayment from Same-Sex Marriage. It tells SSA workers to process the overpayments previously put on hold, consider them as “presumed waiver requests,” and grant waivers as against equity and good conscience. This is great news for couples faces huge overpayments.
If you have any questions about starting or appealing your Social Security disability claim, contact the experienced disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly today to discuss your options. Gardberg & Kemmerly has been helping Social Security claimants with their disability claims for over 30 years in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana.