Senator Casey Asks Social Security Administration to Provide Gender Change Publication

January 10, 2011 ·

Today Senator Bob Casey asked the Social Security Adminstration to create a publication for gender change:

Dear Commissioner Astrue:

Thank you for your continued leadership of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and demonstrated commitment to improve SSA’S service to the public. l commend your agency for the website’s recognition by the American Customer Satisfaction Index and your maintenance of over 50 informational publications available to the public

I write today today to request your attention to a gap in Social Security’s otherwise extensive public communication. Recently, my office was contacted by a concerned constituent who is in the process of gender transition. My constituent visited her local Social Security field office to inquire how to update her gender data with the SSA. The representative at the window orally explained the established policy as my constituent stood in the public waiting room.

Unfortunately, this interaction proved embarrassing to my constituent who regards her gander status as a private medical matter. She was made uncomfortable by SSA employees who spoke loudly enough that other waiting beneficiaries heard her inquiry. Since that time, my constituent has been contacted by the Office of Public Inquires who graciously provided her the guidance she needed.

As you already know, the SSA has no informational publication on its policy regarding gender data change for Social Security staff to share with inquiring beneficiaries or the public to access online. The language used by Social Security employees in the Programs Operations Manual System (POMS) is technical and is not written for a public audience. Additionally, POMS does not provide Social Security staff the training necessary to discuss the sensitive personal and medical information required to update one’s gender data.

To enhance the Social Security Administration’s current public communication l encourage the Administration to create an easily accessible publication that provides a plain-English explanation of your gender data change policy, and that you make this publication available to beneficiaries in your field offices and to the public online.

I expect that such a publication may reduce the potential for the type of embarrassment my constituent experienced. Additionally, this publication could be an important resource both for employers who compare gender data when verifying their employee’s identity and for treating physicians who need guidance on the type of documentation patients need to comply With SSA’S gender data change policy.

I look forward to working with you to address this issue and to develop a strategy that establishes easily accessible guidance about Social Security’s gender data change policy. Thank you for your time and attention to these concerns.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

Next Post

After The Personal Wars: What's Next In The Fight For Transequality?

Given the current political climate it looks as if the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) is dead for at least the next couple of years. What should we do? We need to look at the example of Haverford. From Philadelphia Gay…
Read
Previous Post

Gay Agendas and The Trans-Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

When I heard that "Kathleen" over at Pam's House Blend was banned for allegedly outing an anonymous blogger that just happened to be affiliated with GayINC, I was shocked... for all of about thirty seconds.  As someone that's been inside the belly…
Read
Random Post

#DiscoSexology Part III: The Report Controversy

Disco Sexology, Part Two: The History Disco Sexology, Part Four: CAMH Director By Cristan Williams   Upon completion of this series, this work will be released, in its entirety, as both an audio and ebook. Installment Preface Welcome to the third installment…
Read
Random Post

Ask Matt: Gender Uncertainty is Stressing Me Out!

A reader writes: “I’m 18 years old and have lived under the assumption that I was a cisgendered female – identified as lesbian, never really felt dysphoric about myself beyond maybe a vague envy for the male body, feeling ‘off’…
Read
Random Post

The NY Times goes concern trolling

On August 22, 2015, the NY Times ran an article by Richard A. Friedman titled, "How Changeable Is Gender?" One might be excused for mistaking the piece as an earnest call to the medical community for better interventions for the trans community.…
Read
Random Post

Questioning ENDA: Since I'm On Moderation At Bilerico...

Apparently I'm on comment moderation at Bilerico even though I'm a former contributor and a verified user. So, I'll post my question to Dr Jillian Weiss here: Dr. Weiss, I'm kinda confused. You've said here that: I do not have…
Read