Seattle Department of Human Resources Bobby Humes, Director


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Life Event: Getting Married, Forming a Domestic Partnership or Adding a Spouse or Domestic Partner due to Qualifying Life Event

Same-Sex Married City Employees:
IRS recognizes same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, as married for federal tax purposes. Learn more about how the ruling affects your tax status and City benefits.

Step 1 - Enroll in medical/dental/vision coverage
You have 30 days after the marriage date or the date you formed your domestic partnership to enroll your new spouse or domestic partner in City-sponsored medical, dental and vision coverage. Coverage begins on the first day of the month following date of marriage or the date the domestic partnership was formed. If you miss this deadline, you can enroll your new spouse or domestic partner at the next open enrollment period in the fall. To enroll your new spouse or domestic partner, you must complete and submit:
  • A Benefits Change Form and
  • A Affidavit of Marriage/Domestic Partnership Form

If your domestic partner (and their children) are not tax dependents under IRS tax code, there are tax consequences based on the value of the medical, dental and vision coverage. You'll be asked to verify your dependents' eligibility for City benefits.

Step 2 - Review your life insurance needs
Within 30 days of the marriage/domestic partnership you can:
  • Elect Supplemental Group Term Life coverage for your spouse/partner if you are currently enrolled in Supplemental GTL.
  • Change your AD&D coverage from individual coverage to family coverage if you currently have individual AD&D coverage.

You must wait until Open Enrollment to:
  • Purchase Basic Group Term Life (GTL) Insurance if you are not already enrolled
  • Purchase Supplemental Group Term Life Insurance for yourself if you do not currently have it.
  • Increase Supplemental Group Term Life coverage.
  • Purchase family AD&D coverage if you do not already have individual coverage.

Step 3 - Review your LTD (disability) insurance needs
  • At the next open enrollment, you may enroll in Supplemental Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage if you have not already done so. Because you will be enrolling after you are first eligible, any LTD benefits will be subject to a 24-month pre-existing condition limitation. Disability insurance is not available for family members.

Step 4 - Update your beneficiary information
Update beneficiary information for your Life, AD&D and Deferred Compensation plans. (If you've forgotten who you selected as beneficiary, contact your Human Resources Representative.) Remember to also check the beneficiary election for your sick leave payout and retirement, as well as your non-City plans such as IRA and personal life insurance plans. Send updated personal information to your Department's Human Resources Representative.

Step 5 - Change personal and tax withholding information
You may need to change the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck by submitting a new W-4 statement to your Department's Human Resources Representative or Payroll office for processing. You can also change your W-4 statement on line using Employee Self-Service.