John Berry | News | Washington DC

OPM: Same-Sex Partners of Federal Employees Can Apply for Benefits Next Month

A memo signed by Obama last June extending benefits to federal employees of same-sex partners will begin taking effect next month, and has been broadened "to include same-sex domestic partners of eligible federal workers, U.S. Postal Service workers and federal retirees" according to the Washington Post:

Capitol  "OPM will not extend access to opposite-sex domestic partners, because they can obtain the insurance through marriage, 'an option not currently available to same-sex domestic partners,' the agency wrote in Tuesday's Federal Register. OPM said same-sex couples can visit to complete a form that states they are each other's domestic partner and intend to stay together indefinitely. The federal worker must submit the form to their employer. Couples will not be required to provide further proof of the relationship, OPM said, because that 'would impose a greater burden on domestic partners than other qualified relatives.' The agency said it does not ask opposite-sex couples for bank statements or other proof of marriage."

Changes are detailed here.

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  1. Although it sounds like good news for most, I have a feeling that gays in the military are not going to apply for these benefits.

    Posted by: Lee | Jun 2, 2010 7:12:00 AM

  2. As I recall from last year, this memo from last June was NOT GOING TO INCLUDE health insurance coverage.

    So, I read the details you link to and sure enough, it only talks about Long Term Care Insurance. It doesn't address health insurance coverage at all.

    Posted by: Tim | Jun 2, 2010 7:20:04 AM

  3. Andy

    It should read " June extending SOME benefits" The important ones like Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Retirement Options are NOT included. Just some really crappy ones. Believe me I know. I work for the IRS.

    It's CRUMBS

    Posted by: Will | Jun 2, 2010 7:42:51 AM

  4. Odd, I thought DOMA prohibited the Federal government from any sort of recognition of a same sex relationship, partnership, marriage, etc. In making this move, the Feds are giving de facto recognition to same sex marriage of sorts. Would seem a violation of that shameful act of congress. Anyone have any insight on this?

    Posted by: Matt | Jun 2, 2010 8:21:26 AM

  5. Congress has to authorize providing full benefits to GLBT Federal employees. There is legislation under consideration that will do that.

    Perhaps the story here is that the Postal Service is being covered. The CRS Report analyzes the costs of many options, including whether USPS employees are covered or not.

    Posted by: Charlie | Jun 2, 2010 8:23:31 AM

  6. You need to change the headline. We are now eligible for Long Term Care insurance benefits - no others.

    Posted by: Shane | Jun 2, 2010 9:01:35 AM

  7. Change the header & include "temporary". This is merely a memorandum that O. signed. It will expire when he's kicked out in 2012. It is not a permanent regulation.

    Posted by: smallhandff | Jun 2, 2010 10:26:56 AM

  8. Will still get taxed for them as well I'm sure.

    Posted by: Trasker | Jun 2, 2010 10:32:26 AM

  9. USPS workers have always been considered federal employees.

    Posted by: devon | Jun 2, 2010 11:08:13 AM

  10. This article is very misleading and caused my husband and I to get excited for no reason. Without health insurance and pension coverage, this means shit.

    Posted by: john | Jun 2, 2010 12:48:24 PM

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