On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriages must be recognized under the law in the United States. The decision will have tremendous implications on the way benefits from federally funded programs, like veterans disability benefits, are distributed.
In 2013, court justices issued a similar ruling that redefined large portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from awarding many benefits to same-sex couples. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognized the ruling by stating benefits would be awarded to same-sex couples living in states where their union was recognized, but offered little protection to couples living in states where same-sex marriages remained illegal.
This most recent decision means same-sex marriages must be recognized by federal institutions and that couples in same-sex relationships have the same rights to benefits as those in heterosexual relationships. According to an article from the International Business Times, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has stated that the Justice Department is working with agencies like the VA to ensure all applicants are considered for benefits equally.
At Woods and Woods Injury Lawyers, we understand how complicated the laws overseeing veterans disability benefits can be. That’s why our Indiana personal injury lawyers are here to answer any questions you may have about your rights to veterans disability benefits. If you are a disabled veteran or the spouse of one, contact us today to get answers to your questions.