How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask R. Klein, EA Your Own Question
R. Klein, EA
R. Klein, EA, Accountant
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3375
Experience:  Tax & Social Security Benefits specialist
Type Your Social Security Question Here...
R. Klein, EA is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If a same marriage took place in Md and one of the partners

This answer was rated:

If a same sex marriage took place in Md and one of the partners passed away a few weeks later why is the remaining partner not able to collect the partners SS? Law says they must be married for nine months BUT the law was not passed in time to allow the nine months. My understanding is is that there are instances when the couple does not have to be married to collect. This couple had been together for 34yrs. Wouldn't this qualify as a common law marriage? An explanation would be muchly appreciated.

R. Klein, EA :

Thank you for your Social Security question.

R. Klein, EA :

The area treads on law that has not been fully contemplated by the government, but based on earlier decisions, I would think you need to meet the 9 month minimum.

R. Klein, EA :

There could not have been a common law marriage because same sex unions were not recognized prior to recent law. A "common law" marriage requires three elements: Live together (cohabitate), Hold yourself out as married, and Be legal under state law. In this case, you did not meet the third requirement until the law was passed allowing same sex unions.

R. Klein, EA :

More than likely, you will need to apply and again, you will likely be rejected, but you can push your case as a test case if you have the resources.


So, even with heterosexual couples if the 9 mo. is not met and one dies no SS.

R. Klein, EA and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you