"In December, NSCLC learned that all Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications from people in a same sex marriage had been placed on an indefinite hold following last summer's Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor.

Individual cases in California, Maine and New York were brought to our attention by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Empire Justice Center. All of the individuals had applied for benefits prior to Windsor. In each case, they had been determined to meet the disability standard and would satisfy the SSI financial eligibility standard, whether they were regarded as married or not.

As a result of the delays, one individual was facing eviction, another had already been evicted. Another person had a terminal diagnosis with only six months left to live.

NSCLC, along with GLAD and the ACLU then raised the "hold" issue with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Department of Justice, stressing the urgency of the situation in which SSI applicants often find themselves. We emphasized that people eligible for SSI are a group who, by definition, have no resources to fall back on. Individual cases were also brought to SSA's attention.

As a result, SSA issued instructions earlier this month that provide for processing SSI applications from individuals in a same sex marriage who reside in a marriage recognition state and were married on or after the date that the state first happened to recognize an out of state marriages. They have also now paid each of the four hardship cases that were specifically brought to their attention. . . ."

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