Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Marriage Equality for Disabled People

From the New York Times:

Because she qualifies for Social Security benefits through a program for adults whose medical disability started before age 22, she is considered a “disabled adult child.” The designation, known as D.A.C., applies to 1.1 million Americans, according to the Social Security Administration website.

Those who qualify generally cannot continue to receive benefits if they marry someone who is not disabled or retired. (For a brief window after same-sex marriage became federal law in 2015, marrying a person of the same gender was also a workaround to avoid losing benefits; it took a while for the Social Security Administration to change the wording of its policies from “husband and wife” to “spouse.”)

The marriage provisions, Ms. Long maintained, are lodged in outdated ideas that have marginalized the disabled. “When they wrote the Social Security laws, they weren’t thinking that young people with disabilities would ever be marriage material,” she said. “People didn’t think we might have dreams and hopes like everybody else. We do.”

Read more here.

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