From the front lines. You call Social Security's 800- number to find out about the death benefits you were told in December you couldn't get because DOMA. The agent takes down some details and makes an appointment for you. You then get a letter to confirm the appointment with the subject of your issue listed (Lump-Sum Benefit: Survivor) and a list of what you have to bring and a request to be there ahead of time. Cut-and-dried, no? As it happens, NO, and I'll explain below the great orange wreath.
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It wasn't actually that complicated. Of course, the Metro LA Transit planner asked me to take a bus that left me a little over a third of a mile from the Social Security Office but 1) I needed the exercise and 2) it isn't brutally hot here today. So I was there at 11:15 for an 11:30 appointment. You don't have to go through a metal detector at the Burbank office the way you do at the Santa Monica/Vine office in Hollywood, and I was checked in for my appointment with a person.
Only a couple of minutes late too (the person). First off, the lump sum death benefit would have been a couple of hundred dollars, limited, of course, by the fact I'm still working. Then, all I had was a copy of the marriage license, I didn't have the original. Not really a problem either, because I know where to go to get one (it's in Van Nuys). But the guy took the marriage license and the death certificate, went to confer with somebody,,filled out an application, went though reciting a statement, and gave me everything back with two copies of the application.
That done, he started to talk. Right now, the only death benefits I could get would be limited, as I said in the last paragraph, by the fact I'm still working. BUT if I wait until 66, even if I'm still working, I can apply for a monthly benefit to supplement my income. Won't be limited by the fact I'm working. So I guess I have a little over three years to get an original of the marriage license.
They're still working things out, he said. But it's VERY clear that the demise of Section 3 of DOMA means that America really has made another stride toward the promise of equality for all.
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From this just in:
Jed Lewison's front-page piece expressed general outrage over GOP claims that their Ahab-like obsession of defunding Obamacare somehow puts them on the same plane as civil-rights heroes. Kossack DoLooper nails that perfectly in a "shorter" version.From serendipityisabitch:
This comment by joanneleon in Ray Pensador's diary about empathy was right on the money.From your humble diarist:
In gizmo58's diary about technology failure and obsolescence last night, Hey338Too provided an excellent low-tech solution for many high-tech problems.And the flags: From timaeus:
davehouck's comment about the tone in which Kossacks are discussing Pope Francis in Jen Hayden's diary about his latest remarksFrom nzanne:
the entire comments thread of acpa's diary about foster parenting.From msdrown:
edwardssl's comment about the RWNJ in his office in StellaRay's diary about Obamacare and what we'll all know about it in October.TOP MOJO, September 19, 2013 (excluding Tip Jars and first comments):
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12) Doesn't seem the NRA is doing too good a job, by gustynpip — 88
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