Social Security Administration Issues New Rules on Gender Designation

Jul 2, 2013

In late June, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published new rules that make it easier for the estimated 700,000 transgender Americans to update their Social Security records to reflect their gender designation.

Under the new rules, a transgender person can change their gender on their Social Security records in one of two ways: either by submitting government-issued documentation reflecting a change or by submitting a certification from a physician confirming that they have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. This policy replaces SSA’s old policy, which required documentation of sex reassignment surgery.

In January 2013, NASW and 28 other members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations joined together to voice concerns about SSA’s policy on updating gender designation.  This is truly an historical policy change.

For additional resource:

National Center for Transgender Equality: Transgender People and the Social Security Administration

National Association of Social Workers:  Transgender and Gender Identity Policy Statement


Evelyn Tomaszewski, ACSW, Senior Policy Associate