(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

When the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, it expanded Social Security’s spousal benefits to same-sex couples in the 13 states that allow them to marry, plus Washington, D.C. The states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Social Security now must accept applications for spousal retirement, disability and survivor submitted by people who are legally married in these states. This represents the largest expansion in Social Security eligibility since the liberalization of disability benefits in 1965.

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