Social Security allows Americans to pick new gender options when they apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
If I had to pick just one word to describe the Social Security Administration’s new policy on the gender-disability insurance market, I’d use it myself: bizarre.
It doesn’t make sense. But the agency issued a memo outlining the new rules Tuesday, the first time it has allowed anyone to change the gender of their disability claim in nearly three decades.
This is a massive shift for the agency, which has never allowed anyone to choose a different gender on the record of their claims since the 1980s. (That was when the agency said that in cases of gender-related discrimination, SSDI claimants should be listed according to their current gender in order to protect “the individual’s rights to privacy, self-determination, and to ensure that their gender is not used to disadvantage him or her on the basis of sex.”)
The new rules will allow people to change the gender listed in their Social Security records to one other than the one they had at birth. The new policy means that if a worker says they were born a F, but they were actually a G or B or A or a B or A or — you get the idea — a “C” or a “D” or a C or D, the Social Security Administration will change their gender designation to match what they actually are.
The agency took some heat for the change, with many claiming that it was just too hard to keep track of all the names and genders. However, there is no way to change the process if you have a long list from your doctor, or if you’re in prison or in a coma.
With the change, if you’re a G and want to be a D, you go right ahead. But if you’re a B and you change your gender, you’ll have to go through the paperwork process again.
This change is also huge. In 1979, the Social Security Administration said that people who wanted to get Social Security money to pay for various birth-control and abortion-related services should list a different gender than their actual one. After the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, however, the Social Security Administration announced that it would no longer accept “gender, sex, or gender-related conditions