Benefits to Married Gay and Lesbian Federal Employees, Annuitants and Their Families
The recent Supreme Court ruling declaring the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional means that legally married same-sex spouses of federal employees and their families are now considered eligible family members under various benefits programs as described in the HQDA CPAC Guidance document below. Employees who were legally married prior to June 26 will have until August 26, 2013 to enroll their newly eligible family members. Employees who are legally married on or after June 26, will have 60 days from the date of marriage to make the changes. Employees who do not make their enrollment during the 60-day election window will be eligible to enroll during the annual open enrollment period.
NOTE: On September 25, 2014, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a notice in the Federal Register (Volume 79, No. 186) that extended the opportunity to apply for survivor benefits under CSRS and FERS for same-sex spouses of deceased Federal annuitants, employees, or former employees who died prior to June 26, 2013. To ensure that surviving same-sex spouses are able to exercise their rights and interests as "widows" and "widowers" under CSRS and FERS, OPM is encouraging all same-sex spouses of deceased annuitants who died prior to June 26, 2013, to apply for benefits even if the annuitants did not attempt to elect survivor annuity benefits for their spouses prior to death, and/or even if OPM has previously denied applications for benefits from surviving spouses as a result of DOMA. Further details may be found in the Oct 10, 2014 DCPAS memos linked below.