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Victory for California Transgender Rights: SSA Updates Gender Policy

Posted on Jul 05, 2013

Advocates for transgender equality scored a tremendous victory when the Social Security Administration officially changed their policy regarding gender designation in an individual’s Social Security record.

Under the old policy, the only option for a person who wanted to change their gender designation with the SSA was to submit proof of gender reassignment surgery.

For many years, a coalition of transgender advocacy groups has promoted a more inclusive policy, like those established by the US State Department and the Veterans Health Administration. Ideally, the SSA gender designation policy would better protect the privacy of a transitioning individual while also accounting for the realities of transition-related care—and recognizing that their old policy was out of touch with the current medical consensus on gender identification. 

Late this June, the SSA released their new policy, allowing for a transgender person to change the gender marker on their Social Security record with any one of the following documents:

  • A signed letter from a licensed, transition-related care physician with whom the person has a relationship, stating that the person has had “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition”
  • A court order recognizing the correct gender
  • A state-issued birth certificate showing the correct gender
  • A US passport showing the correct gender

Because Social Security benefits are not contingent on gender, changing one’s gender marker will have no impact on eligibility for individual or marriage-related benefits.

If you’ve been denied Social Security disability benefits or are struggling with any aspect of the appeal process, don’t wait any longer: talk with a North Valley disability benefits attorney today. We work for you on a contingency-fee basis. Call the Ledgerwood Law Group at 888-761-7383 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Thomas Ledgerwood
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