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Same-sex couples struggle with Social Security in Ohio

Social Security is a payment that is meant to provide for the disabled, elderly and retired. Unfortunately, the changes in America have still not brought this compensation up to par for same-sex couples. A Dec. 11 story reports how Social Security benefits are often the largest financial asset a person has, but without being married, your significant other may not benefit from it at all. That is true of Social Security disability as well if you’re injured or killed on the job.

Take for instance this example. In Ohio, you are entitled to your benefits in the largest amount at 70. What happens if you don’t make it past that age? Normally, your wife or spouse would benefit from your Social Security check as well, because widows benefits are based on your lifetime of work.

Shockingly, if you’ve become married as a same-sex couple, that isn’t the case. Even though your marriage may be legal in Massachusetts or other states, it’s not recognized in Ohio. Additionally, while the benefits are federal and should be able to be collected, the state where you live does have an effect on your ability to collect.

In order to collect in a situation like that, you’d have to move to another state that recognizes your marriage. Is that fair? Not really. If you’ve been placed in a difficult position where you may have to move out of the state in order to collect money your spouse wanted you to have, speaking with someone familiar with same-sex marriage laws in Ohio may help. There may be ways to access your money without moving out of the state or going through the same struggles that couple had to endure.

Source: PBS.org, “How Social Security still discriminates against same-sex couples” LAURENCE KOTLIKOFF, Dec. 11, 2014

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