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Marriage vs Domestic Partnership and SS Benefits

I'm 65 and currently receive SS and Medicare benefits. My partner is 45 and she is employed as a nurse.

What are the implications of my SS and Medicare benefits should we get married as opposed to declaring domestic partnership?



Sorry, I haven't seen too much on this.

There are at least a couple considerations here. First, the definition of "domestic partnership" seems to vary from state to state.

For example, SSA documents indicate that Nevada does not consider a "domestic partnership" marriage :

However, in the District of Columbia, previously registered domestic partnerships need not be dissolved prior to marriage.

A second consideration is the Defense of Marriage Act. Social Security documents state the following (with respect to Medicare Special Enrollment Period) :

The Defense of Marriage Act (P.L. 104-199), enacted 09/21/1996, requires that, in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, any ruling, regulation, or any administrative interpretation, the word "marriage" shall mean only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Under this law, the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. Thus, for SEP purposes, SSA cannot recognize the following individuals as a spouse under any circumstance:...

It seems like the SSA has developed some concrete policies regarding how to accept evidence of domestic partnerships for name changes. However, policy regarding benefits seems to be evolving.

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