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Hanabusa Encourages Eligible LGBT Families to Apply for Federal Benefits

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) is encouraging eligible LGBT families to apply for Social Security benefits, which were previously withheld until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

"While we still have work to do to repeal DOMA in its entirety, equality is a reality for LGBT families at the federal level, and they can now receive benefits that were denied in the past," said Hanabusa. "Eligible LGBT individuals can apply for Social Security benefits which include widow/widower's benefits, spousal retirement benefits, and monthly benefits for children. If an individual believes they may qualify, I encourage them to apply as soon as possible because once the Social Security Administration begins processing applications, families will be paid based on their date of application or even up to a year before that date."

An LGBT individual (and their family) may be eligible for Social Security benefits if they are/were:

-Married or
-In a Civil Union or
-In a Registered Domestic Partnership

And they or their spouse/partner are:

-Retired or
-Disabled or

To apply for Social Security benefits online:

To find your local office and schedule an appointment, call 1-800-772-1213 or visit

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