As more individuals come to identify as a gender different from the one they were designated at birth, the Social Security administration is starting to catch up to the times with a new policy.
If you would like the Social Security Administration to recognize you as a different gender, the new policy now only requires that you apply for a new Social Security card and inform the SSA of your wishes.
This does require showing your identity, such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport, but no other medical or legal documentation is required to change your gender with Social Security.
In a statement, acting Social Security Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi said the new policy is part of a “commitment to decrease administrative burdens and ensure people who identify as gender diverse or transgender have options in the Social Security Number card application process.”
While this policy is good news for transgender individuals, it does have some drawbacks. While Social Security will recognize your gender in its system, actual Social Security cards do not contain any gender identification information.
The agency is also currently looking into a policy that would allow individuals to mark “X” as their gender, but currently that policy is not in place. Anyone applying for a new Social Security card only has the choice to choose between male or female for their gender.
And while these official policies are still somewhat limited, generally, if a disability case goes to hearing, administrative law judges will refer to claimants by whatever name or pronoun they choose.