Jun 17, 2013
New Policy Allows Transgender Americans to Change Gender Identity on Social Security Records
Washington, D.C. - On June 14, 2013, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a new policy for updating Social Security records to reflect a person’s gender identity. Under the new policy, a transgender person can change their gender on their Social Security records by submitting either government-issued documentation reflecting a change, or a certification from a physician confirming that they have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.
This policy replaces SSA’s old policy, which required documentation of sex reassignment surgery in order to change gender identity records.
Though Social Security cards do not currently display gender, the SSA does maintain that information as data, and as ThinkProgress's Zack Ford points out, it can have a major impact on governmental programs. "For example, individuals seeking coverage under Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, or other public benefits could face complications if their gender markers do not match from form to form and identification to identification. In addition to an invasion of their privacy, the discordance could even lead to a denial of benefits. The new change will eliminate the obstacles trans people can face to access protections they often need because of other forms of discrimination they otherwise experience in society."