Social Security ends no-match letters for gender differences

by on September 16, 2011  •  In Transgender

According to an announcement from the National Center for Transgender Equality:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has confirmed that it has ended the practice of allowing gender to be matched in its Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). This will result in the immediate cessation of SSA sending notifications that alert employers when the gender marker on an employee's W-2 does not match Social Security records.

"Ending this practice, which has endangered transgender people and our jobs, has been a priority for NCTE and we are pleased that the SSA has updated its policy. Alerting employers about differences in someone's gender threatened people's jobs and did not accomplish what this verification system was designed for. There was absolutely no reason for it and it was extremely dangerous for transgender people, who still face significant disrespect, discrimination and violence in the workplace." [Mara Keisling]

An NCTE briefing paper provides background information about no-match letters. A Freedom of Information Act request from NCTE showed that 711,488 gender no-match letters were sent in 2010. This year the no-match letter program, intended to detect fraud, has been off and on because of budget issues.

Asked about the decision, White House spokesman Shin Inouye told MetroWeekly, "The White House welcomes this move by the Social Security Administration."


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