Social Security Administration Ignores Plight of Gay Father: Lambda Legal Files Suit

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"As a parent, it is my job to provide for my children. Unfortunately, the SSA, who is supposed to help during a time of need, is standing in the way."
May 28, 2008

(Washington DC, May 28, 2008) — Lambda Legal files suit today against the Social Security Administration on behalf of Gary Day, a disabled father, whose repeated requests for assistance for his children has been ignored for over two years. Indications in the government's responses point to anti-gay discrimination.


"Asking a father to wait more than 2 years for the SSA to decide whether his children are entitled to disability insurance suggests either a failure on the part of the agency to do its job or blatant discrimination based on the fact that these children have two dads," said Beth Littrell, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta, Georgia. "Either way the SSA's actions are unfair and unacceptable."


In February of 2006, Day completed the applications for Child Insurance Benefits for his children. He provided birth certificates and court documents that acknowledge him as the legal parent of the children. The SSA acknowledged receipt of the application and promised to provide a response in 45 days. After over a year with no response, Lambda Legal sent a letter on Mr. Day's behalf seeking action by the agency. The SSA still did not provide an initial determination of eligibility citing unspecified "legal questions and policy issues" involved with the application. Mr. Day has provided all the necessary documentation to establish a legitimate parent-child relationship and has fulfilled all of the SSA's prerequisites. The SSA is required to determine whether or not the children are entitled to Child Insurance Benefits as dependents of Mr. Day, but have yet to do so for more than two years .


"As a parent, it is my job to provide for my children. Unfortunately, the SSA, who is supposed to help during a time of need, is standing in the way," said Gary Day.


"The SSA is putting these children at a disadvantage by being unresponsive to Mr. Day's request," said co-counsel Lisa A. Linsky. "He and his children meet all the requirements that the agency needs to provide benefits. Delaying a response to their request for assistance for over two years is unwarranted and prejudicial to these children."


Beth Littrell, Staff Attorney, is Lambda Legal's lead attorney on this case, Gary Day v Social Security Administration. Lisa A. Linsky and Robin Zimmerly, of the law firm McDermott Will & Emery, LLP., are co-counsel with Lambda Legal on the case.


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Contact: Tika Milan 212-809-8585 ext. 223; Email: tmilan@lambdalegal.org 

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