Tina and Jackie were born in the same town in 1947. Despite similar beginnings, their lives take very different turns. In 1967, Tina meets Frank. And Jackie meets Frances. As a same-sex couple, Jackie and Frances couldn’t marry, were denied spousal benefits, and experienced a lifetime of discrimination and lost wages. Fast forward to today, and Jackie, like so many other older adults, struggles with financial insecurity, social isolation, and overall lack of health and well-being, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Read More
On March 1, 2017 the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it would reopen its decisions to deny spousal or survivor’s benefits to individuals who had been married to someone of the same sex, and whose marriage wasn’t recognized because of a discriminatory state or federal ban on marriage.
This ruling and policy applies not only to individuals who were denied benefits after the Supreme Court struck down federal discrimination against same-sex spouses (in United States v. Windsor in 2013) and state discrimination (in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015), but also to individuals who applied for and did not receive benefits before these Supreme Court decisions because of the discriminatory laws in effect at the time they applied.
A new Fact Sheet on this guidance includes more detailed information about who is affected by the new guidance, who isn’t, and what advocates and their clients should do to get their cases reopened.
This fact sheet was authored in collaboration with our partners at SAGE, Lambda Legal, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
- Married same sex couples now have coverage for Medicare and Medicaid under the same rules as opposite-sex married couples.
- Transgender individuals have protection from discriminatory treatment in health care.
We filed this case to stop SSA from attempting to collect “overpayments” from very low income people over 65 and people with disabilities receiving SSI who had been married to someone of the same sex on or before June 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Read More
John should not have to worry about a nursing facility neglecting Jack due to his sexual orientation. As an 83 year-old caregiver, John should not face the additional burden of replacing Jack’s neglected care. Read More
Recent proposed regulations released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provide a unique opportunity to address discrimination in health care settings, including new provisions to address language access, gender identity discrimination, and access for individuals with disabilities. The proposed regulations, which were issued to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, represent a positive first step toward improving health equity. Advocates for older adults should seize the opportunity to significantly strengthen the regulations by participating in the comment process.
These anecdotes are not only true; they’re common experiences for LGBT older adults. And they’re all in our ground-breaking report, LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field. Published in 2010, the report is still making waves in policy circles. In honor of Pride 2015, we’re re-releasing a fresh version of the report for those who may have missed it, along with its accompanying video.