Former Fellow Presented NCLER Webinar

Former Borchard Fellow Chris Phillips was one of the presenters on a January 19, 2022 NCLER webinar on Patching the Safety Net: Survivor's Benefits for LGBTQ Older Adults. Chris is a staff attorney at the Center for Elder Law & Justice in Buffalo, New York. 

This information about the webinar was posted by NCLER:

For many LGBTQ older adults, the promise of marriage equality came too late. Having spent most of their adult lives excluded from the protections that marriage brings, many surviving same-sex partners and spouses had no access to one of the critical supports their different-sex counterparts could rely upon as they age: Social Security survivor’s benefits. Whether they were barred from marriage throughout their committed relationships or they were finally able to marry, only to lose their beloveds less than nine months later, these survivors continued to feel the sting of discrimination even after marriage exclusions were struck down by the courts. 

Two recent court cases have remedied this problem, and now the Social Security Administration can no longer deny survivor’s benefits to those same-sex survivors who could not previously meet the marriage-related requirements as a result of discriminatory laws.

This training will cover information about these cases and the actionable strategies that advocates can use to reach and support LGBTQ older adults as they navigate the process of seeking these benefits after a lifetime of discrimination.