Married same-sex couples can apply for benefits, file joint tax returns

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By: Liz Gelardi

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 7, 2014) - Same-sex couples can now get married in Indiana and as they say "I do" there are questions about benefits and taxes. A legal expert said Monday's Supreme Court decision will allow same-sex married couples to enjoy all the benefits available to heterosexual married couples.

"They have no basis rational or otherwise to deny them benefits that heterosexual married couples would have and they would be able to bring a lawsuit over it," said attorney John Haskin.

Same-sex married couples can apply for health insurance benefits together and file a joint tax return. On Monday, the Supreme Court decided it will not take up appeals that found Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Melody and Tara Betterman-Layne have been together for five years and now their marriage is legally recognized in Indiana. The couple is still trying to get over their initial shock over the high court's announcement.

"We have been milling around all of the things that this changes and were like wow we won't have to worry about this anymore," said Tara Betterman-Layne.

The couple has two separate health insurance policies but they hope to get covered under one family plan. Tax time was even more complicated because the couple had to file five tax returns.

"So now instead of paying for five tax returns we'll pay for two so that's quite a savings and quite less of a headache too," said Tara Betterman-Layne.