Her estranged in-laws, Joan and David Farley, also want the money. On Aug. 29, they appealed a court ruling in Tobits' favor to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Tobits and Sarah Ellyn Farley lived in Illinois, and were married in Canada in 2006.
Farley worked at the law firm of Cozen O'Connor as an attorney before her death in 2010.
The Farleys say they're the next of kin as Farley's parents, and the $43,822.35 in disputed funds should go to them.
The dispute over Farley's death benefits is being adjudicated in Pennsylvania because Cozen is headquartered in Philadelphia.
In court papers, the Farleys have argued that neither Illinois nor Pennsylvania recognize same-sex marriage, so they're the next of kin.
But in July, U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones 2d sided with Tobits, stating there could be "no doubt" that she's Farley's surviving spouse.
The judge also noted that an Illinois court declared Tobits to be the sole heir of Farley's estate.
Teresa S. Renaker, an attorney for Tobits, said a recent IRS ruling bodes well for her client.
"The IRS announced Aug. 29 that all legal same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of the couple's state of residence," Renaker said.
She said the ruling is another indication that Tobits should receive the disputed funds.
"We don't yet know what arguments the Farleys intend to make on appeal, but the IRS guidance is additional support for the court's well-reasoned opinion." Renaker added.
Susan K. Hoffman, a local employee-benefits attorney, agreed with Renaker.
"But I do wish to add a cautionary note," Hoffman told PGN. "While the IRS guidance is extremely good news for Jennifer Tobits, it's not binding on the federal courts when they are interpreting federal law."
Attorneys for the Farleys had no comment at presstime.
The disputed funds have been placed in a court registry, pending the outcome of the Farleys' appeal.