Lambda Legal Applauds Social Security Update to Gender Marker Policy

Browse By

Blog Search

June 25, 2013

Lambda Legal applauds the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) recent announcement of  their updated policy guidelines for changing the gender designation in Social Security records for transgender people.

Under the new policy, the SSA joins other federal agencies, including the State Department, the Office of Personnel Management, the Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Veterans Health Administration, in making it easier for transgender people to update their gender marker.

The previous policy required proof of surgical treatment, which is unnecessary and often cost-prohibitive or inappropriate, since care and treatment are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Now transgender people can change their gender marker with the SSA by submitting either certain government-issued documentation reflecting a change, or certification from a physician confirming that they have received appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. 

For years, Lambda Legal’s Help Desk has received calls from transgender people who have been outed to their employer because their Social Security records don’t accurately reflect their gender. Having accurate identity documentation is necessary for all people in many aspects of daily life, from employment to school to housing. This important policy change will have a real impact in people’s lives.

We look forward to continuing work with the SSA to ensure that transgender people have access to identity records and documents that match their gender identity. More information on identity documents can be found here