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Monday, December 15, 2014

All Social Security recipients received gay marriage benefits information for 2015

I lived to see Social Security recognize gay marriage!

Each year in December, every U.S. Social Security Administration beneficiary receives via the U.S. mail a single folded, custom printed page that states what is the automatic cost-of-living adjustment for the next year and what will be the new dollar amount for their Social Security payment, less deductions for Medicare insurance and other deductions, along with the date they should expect this dollar amount will be direct deposited into their bank account. (I am not sure if anybody receives an actual check in the mail anymore.) -- (At the bottom of the paper form that I received on Dec. 12, 2014 was the footer: "Social Security Administration Form SSA-4926-SM-DI (1-2015)")

I was surprised this year, given my low vision blindness, to see a prominent headline that read (Social Security) "Benefits for Same-Sex Couples," which stated underneath the headline, "We are now able to pay benefits to more same-sex couples. We encourage people to contact us to find out if they or their children are eligible for benefits or a different benefit amount. Learn more at, which I noticed automatically redirects to the page, "Important Information for Same-Sex Couples," U.S. Social Security Administration accessed Dec. 15, 2014:

"On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Therefore, Social Security no longer is prevented from recognizing same-sex marriages to determine entitlement or payment amount." (Quoted from "Important Information for Same-Sex Couples," U.S. Social Security Administration accessed Dec. 15, 2014)

More on the annual Social Security adjustment for inflation:

"Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today.

"The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2014. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $118,500 from $117,000. Of the estimated 168 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2015, about 10 million will pay higher taxes because of the increase in the taxable maximum. "

(Quoted from LaVenia J. LaVelle, Press Officer, "Press Release: Social Security Announces 1.7 Percent Benefit Increase for 2015," Wednesday, October 22, 2014)

Also see "Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information for 2015," accessed Dec. 15, 2014.