Important Victory for LGBT Married Couples

LGBT married couples can now celebrate another important victory in their fight for equal rights. The U.S. Justice department will soon grant them the same rights in legal matters as married heterosexual couples. These new guidelines are the latest effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June of 2013.

What does this mean for LGBT couples? Under the new guidelines, LGBT couples will not be forced to testify in court against their spouse and will receive the same visitation rights as other married couples in prison. The Justice Department’s policy will also allow same-sex married couples to apply for federal programs such as the Sept. 11 fund to compensate victims of the terrorist attacks.

The Justice Department has already approved policy changes by other federal agencies to extend federal benefits to LGBT couples.

  • Last summer, the Office of Personnel Management announced that federal employees in LGBT marriages could apply for health, dental, long-term care, life and retirement benefits.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services said that legally married LGBT seniors on Medicare would be eligible for equal benefits and joint placement in nursing homes.
  • The Social Security Administration will pay death benefits to survivors of a LGBT marriage.
  • The Department of Homeland Security will treat LGBT spouses equally for the purposes of obtaining a green card if the spouse is a foreign national. And the IRS has begun treating same-sex marriages equally for tax-filing purposes.

While laws are changing to promote greater equality for LGBT seniors, whether you are gay or straight, if you haven’t done so, now is the time to get started with planning for your future and for your loved ones! We here at The Fairfax and Fredericksburg LGBT Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. have strategies in place to help LGBT couples. With advance planning, each person, regardless of sexual orientation, can retain the benefit of the money, income and assets it has taken a lifetime to accumulate. Learn more at , or call us at our Virginia Elder Law Fairfax office at 703-691-1888 or at our Virginia Elder Law Fredericksburg office at 540-479-1435 to make an appointment for a consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.