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Senators Warner & Kaine: “Ensure Equality by Giving Special Treatment”

To ensure the Social Security Administration is “treating all legal marriages equally,” Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sentor Tim Kaine (D-VA) have signed on to a letter demanding the SSA “issue a blanket waiver for recovery of overpayment” for homosexual couples married after the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year. The letter does not explain how demanding SSA give preferential treatment to homosexual couples advances equality for “all legal marriages.”

According to the letter, “SSA continued to issue benefits to Supplemental Security Income recipients in same-sex marraiges as though these individuals were single, and for that some SSI recipients, SSA is still doing so. Because the benefits for unmarried individuals are higher than those for married individuals, SSA’s failure to update its policies has resulted in overpayments.” Ah, the benefits of marriage.

To its credit, the SSA has—according to the letter—”sent overpayment notices to these individuals” who were overpaid. Good for them. That’s equality. If a married, heterosexual couple were overcompensated by SSA, I would expect them to receive a similar notice. Senators Warner and Kaine, and the 118 other Senators and Representatives who signed the letter, disagree. They oppose equality before the law, and demand a categorical, automatic waiver for homosexual couples who have received overpayments.

If Senators Warner and Kaine truly care about about equality, they should stop demanding special treatment for certain groups.

A copy of the letter is available here.