India and Vance had been married for 27 years at his death. When she turned 62 she obtained widows advantages. Social Security needs as part of the application for Widows benefits that she show proof of marriage. India could not find her marital relationship certificate. She asked for a copy from the Bureau of Crucial Data in the state where she and Vance were married and was told they had no record of her marriage. What does she do now?
Social Security tries to assist people who are using for advantages in any way that they can to get the paperwork a claimant requirements to get advantages. In this situation, Social Security guidelines state that they will accept the following as alternate evidence of ritualistic marital relationship:
– A signed statement from the clergy or other authorities who performed the marital relationship; or
In the instance of same sex marriage, a complaintant for advantages can not fulfill the gender-based definition of spouse required of the federal law. For all functions relating to Social Security declares an individual that does not meet the definition of a partner is ineligible for benefits even though they wed in a state that acknowledges same sex marriages.
There are also policies and case law which suggest how to provide evidence of common law marriage.