In this series, “Social Security Secrets,” experts Larry Kotlikoff and Phil Moeller explain the most important things you need to know about this valuable retirement benefit. Kotlikoff and Moeller are co-authors of the New York Times best-seller Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.
When the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage constitutional, couples became eligible for Social Security benefits that may have previously been denied to them. Phil Moeller and Larry Kotlikoff, co-authors of Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security, have advice for those same-sex couples.
The first thing to do, if you were denied benefits, is call your local Social Security office to see what you can claim now that your marriage has been recognized.
Same-sex couples should also be aware that they can now receive all of the benefits allowed to married couples. The lower earner can claim spousal benefits from Social Security. They can also claim widow's benefits and receive the higher earner's Social Security. If the couple has school-aged children, they can get a little help for their kids, too.