Federal employees who are veterans will now receive full veteran benefits as the Department of Veterans Affairs is extending all VA benefits to same-sex veterans following the Supreme Court’s decision last week which affirmed that all Americans have the right to marry the person they love, regardless of their sexual orientation or where they live.
Same sex veterans, their spouses and children will no longer be denied VA disability pay, home loan guarantees, death pensions, and burial rights.
VA previously could not provide full VA benefits to same-sex veterans and their spouses living in states that did not recognize same-sex marriage.
About 30% of federal employees are veterans.
The Supreme Court’s decision, however, has little impact on other federal employees assame-sex spouses of legally married federal employees are already eligible for health and retirement benefits since 2013 even if they live in a state that bans same-sex marriage.
The Supreme Court in 2013 declared unconstitutional a provision in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as between a man and a woman and barred same-sex couples, including same-sex married federal employees, from receiving benefits such as insurance, social security, and the filling of joint tax returns.
Following the court’s decision, the federal government extended health coverage, retirement, and other benefits to spouses and children of legally married federal employees regardless of where they lived.