Brian Clymer, Attorney at Law

Gay widower sues Social Security Administration over denied spousal benefits

Attorneys Brian Clymer and Autumn Menard, along with co-counsel Lambda Legal, recently filed a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on behalf of Michael Ely, a 65-year-old gay man, seeking spousal benefits based on his 43-year relationship with his husband.

Social Security regulations require that married couples meet a nine-month marriage duration requirement, and Mr. Ely has been denied benefits because his husband died seven months after Arizona began allowing same-sex couples to marry. In the lawsuit, we argue that the Social Security Administration's imposition of a nine-month marriage requirement for social security survivor's benefits is unconstitutional where same-sex couples were not able to be married for nine months because of discriminatory marriage laws.

Click here to learn more about this important lawsuit.

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