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Same-Sex Domestic Partner Benefits

Questions and answers

A “domestic partner” is defined in OPM regulations (e.g. 5 C.F.R. § 875.213) as a person in a domestic partnership with an employee, annuitant, member of the uniformed services, or retired member of the uniformed services. The term “domestic partnership” is defined as a committed relationship between two adults, of the opposite sex or same sex, in which the partners—

(1) are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;

(2) maintain a common residence, and intend to continue to do so (or would maintain a common residence but for an assignment abroad or other employment-related, financial, or similar obstacle);

(3) are at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to a contract;

(4) share responsibility for a significant measure of each other’s financial obligations;

(5) are not married or joined in a civil union to anyone else;

(6) are not a domestic partner of anyone else;

(7) are not related in a way that would prohibit legal marriage in the U.S. jurisdiction in which the partnership was formed;

(8) provide documentation demonstrating fulfillment of these requirements; and

(9) certify that they understand that willful falsification of the documentation required to establish that an individual is in a domestic partnership may lead to disciplinary action and the recovery of the cost of benefits received related to such falsification and may constitute a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
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