Social Security to let people choose of sex marker in records

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Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced Friday that the agency will offer people the choice to self-select their sex on their Social Security number (SSN) record.

In a press release, the agency said it anticipates this option will be available in Fall 2022.

“The Social Security Administration is committed to reducing barriers and ensuring the fair treatment of the LGBTQ+ community by updating our procedures for Social Security number records,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “This policy change will allow people to self-select their sex in our records without needing to provide documentation of their sex designation.”

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 once the policy change becomes effective. SSN cards do not include sex markers.

In February 2022, the agency issued guidance instructing employees to accept evidence documents that contain non-binary identifiers (e.g., “X”) for original SSN and replacement SSN card applications, and other updates to the agency’s internal SSN records. The agency is exploring possible future policy and systems updates to support an “X” sex designation for the SSN card application process.

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