Same sex couple says disabled son can't get benefits due to their union

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Lisa and Melody Rawson claim they can't get the social security checks for their disabled son because South Carolina doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

"It's heartbreaking to see what we are going through because we are married, and it's sad and demeaning," said Lisa. "It's sad and I feel bad for Terrel because of his needs."

The Rawsons adopted their 13-year-old son in 2002 when they lived in New York and were married eight years later in Iowa. They moved to Myrtle Beach from New York last September because the winters were too difficult for their son's needs.

The boy is wheelchair-bound with spina bifida, a bilateral hip dislocation and a condition that causes water on the brain among other medical issues. They said back in New York he was receiving $600 per month for his condition, but since moving to South Carolina they haven't seen a dime. The couple says officials have told them the state's computer system won't allow it.

"They said they do not have the paperwork to approve the forms to put mother-mother on them to get the paperwork done to get the funds," said Melody.

The couple said they have contacted everyone from Social Security to the Justice Department, and even Congress to look into the situation, but they're getting the run-around.

The regional director for Social Security in Atlanta tells WMBF News they are looking into the situation. We will keep you updated as this story develops.

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