Thirty-eight Senators and eighty-three U.S. Representatives sent a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) yesterday attacking its treatment of same-sex couples.
Led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) (above) and Republican Mark Takano (D-Calif.), the letter takes the SSA to task for giving legally married same-sex couples incorrect payouts after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA in 2013.
While the SSA worked on updating tax policies, same-sex married couples continued to be treated as individuals, reports the Huffington Post. As this resulted in higher benefit payouts, the SSA now wants those couples to repay the difference.
The letter reads:
“We are concerned to hear that, for some time after the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision, SSA continued to issue benefits to Supplemental Security Income recipients in same-sex marriages as though these individuals were single, and that for some SSI recipients, SSA is still doing so.
“SSA should not penalize people who are poor, elderly or disabled because SSA continued issuing benefits to these married individuals as though they were single.
“According to SSA’s statute and regulations, SSA shall avoid penalizing an individual for overpayment if the individual is without fault and if recovery of the overpayment would be against equity and good conscience.”
The letter also requests that the SSA provides details of how many legally married people it has charged with overpayment.
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