This bill seeks to ensure that same-sex married couples have the same access to Medicare and Social Security as heterosexual married couples by making amendments to the Social Security Act.
Under the Social Security Act, couples have to be married for nine months before they can receive each others’ Social Security benefits — twelve months if the spouse trying to receive the others’ benefits is retired. This bill would remove discriminatory language in the act, to allow same-sex couples to count their time in a domestic partnership (if they were not allowed to marry in their state) towards the time necessary to receive benefits. That is to say, if you and your partner had been in a domestic partnership for six months when gay marriage became legal in your state, and you got married right away, you would only have to wait for three months to start getting each others’ Social Security Benefits.
The bill would also require The Social Security Administration to put together a publicity campaign to let people know about these changes.