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Arizona Man Fights For Survivor Benefits After Husband's Death

The Social Security Administration requires a couple to be married for at least nine months in order to receive survivor’s benefits if one of them passes away. It might seem like an innocent rule, but for one Arizona man it’s turned into a legal battle.

He wasn’t allowed to marry his partner until same-sex marriage was legalized in the state. His husband died six months after their marriage, but he said they were together for 43 years.

Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of that surviving spouse on Tuesday, arguing that imposing the nine-month rule is unconstitutional in a situation in which the couple was not able to marry any earlier due to same-sex marriage laws.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.