Author: United States Social Security Administration
Author Contact: ssa.gov
Published: 20th Oct 2022 - Updated: 24th Oct 2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication: Yes
Additional References: LGBTQ News America Publications
Summary: U.S. Social Security Equity Action Plan includes a commitment to ensure people who identify as gender diverse or transgender have options in the Social Security Number (SSN) card application process.
In the United States, a Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents under section 205(c)(2) of the Social Security Act, codified as 42 U.S.C. § 405(c)(2). The number is issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration, an independent agency of the United States government. Although the original purpose of the number was for the Social Security Administration to track individuals, the Social Security number has become a de facto national identification number for taxation and other purposes.
Social Security Implements Self-Attestation of Sex Marker in Social Security Number Records
Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced that the agency now offers people the choice to self-select their sex on their Social Security number (SSN) record. The agency has implemented this policy change, and the new option is now available.
"The Social Security Administration's Equity Action Plan includes 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," said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi.
"This new policy allows people to self-select their sex in our records without needing to provide documentation of their sex designation."
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People who update their sex marker in Social Security's records will need to apply for a replacement SSN card. They will still need to show a current document to prove their identity, but they will no longer need to provide medical or legal documentation of their sex designation now that the policy change is in place.
The agency will accept the applicant's self-identified sex designation of either male or female, even if it is different from the sex designation shown on identity documents, such as a passport or state-issued driver's license or identity card. SSN cards do not include sex markers.
Currently, Social Security's record systems are unable to include a non-binary or unspecified sex designation. The agency is exploring possible future policy and systems updates to support an "X" sex designation for the SSN card application process.
Select Your Sex on Social Security Number Record | United States Social Security Administration (ssa.gov). SexualDiversity.org makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.
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• (APA): United States Social Security Administration. (2022, October 20). Select Your Sex on Social Security Number Record. SexualDiversity.org. Retrieved September 23, 2023 from www.sexualdiversity.org/news/us/1040.php
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