Same-Sex Couples in Shitty States Can Expect to Wait for Benefits

The slow, creaking ship that is the American bureaucratic system takes its sweet time to change its course, and the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act is just another example of how difficult it is for USS Our Fatass Bureaucracy to catch up with the law.

Now that marriage doesn’t mean one penis+one vagina, same-sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as their straight, married co-workers. But how long will it take for those benefits to kick in? And what about states where same-sex marriage isn’t recognized?

Companies are currently shouldering the bulk of that paperwork burden, changing payroll systems and alerting employees of their benefit changes. NPR reports that Ernst&Young offers domestic partner benefits, meaning they haven’t kept track of legally married same-sex couples in their databases, a verification process that can take quite some time. For companies operating in states where same-sex marriages aren’t recognized, they’re still waiting on local rules and regulations to be penned before moving forward with official company policy.

Encouraging same-sex couples to update their status with the company will be the first step on a long road to implementing the DOMA ruling. Retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, and imputed income will all be part of the 1,000 or so federal laws and regulations that have been impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision, which means there will be approximately 4,535,653 memos before the estimated 225,000 legally recognized same-sex married couples receive the benefits they’re entitled to.

[NPR]

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