I originally reported on January 31 of the case of Robina Asti, who was fighting to receive benefits from her deceased husband’s Social Security, but was denied because Social Security didn’t recognize her marriage. I also posted an update on February 25 where she had received her first benefits payment, although no official announcement had been made by the Social Security Administration.
Well it’s official now, and the Social Security Administration has issued updated guidelines regarding the eligibility of transgender individuals for survivor’s benefits. HOWEVER, residents of Kansas should take note of the following:
There are still seven states where the SSA will conduct additional legal review: Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. This is due to a belief by the SSA that state marriage laws regarding transgender individuals are unclear, making the existing case-by-case review process necessary.
I assume that this is due to the confusion over the Kansas Supreme Court decision In re Estate of Gardiner, 42 P.3d 120 (Kan. 2002), which can best be summarized as “transsexuals can NEVER change their gender with respect to marriage. Original equipment is all that matters.”
As promised before (and I kept my promise), I’ll keep on this to see if there are new developments regarding Kansas and the other states listed above.
Social Security Administration Updates Transgender Policy | Advocate.com.
I reported on January 31 of the case of Robina Asti, who was fighting to receive benefits from her deceased husband’s Social Security, but was denied because Social Security didn’t recognize her marriage. Well it didn’t take too long, mercifully, for action to happen. My friend Debi pointed me to this update where it now appears Mrs. Asti is going to be receiving the benefits she deserves. Good job!
92-Year-Old Trans Widow Wins Social Security Battle | Advocate.com.
Anyone out there who comes across this column and doesn’t like transgender persons, thinks we’re weird, icky, threatening, destroying the fabric of the nation – or worse?
This is who you hurt.
Robina Asti, a 92-year-old transgender woman who lost her husband, companion, and love, is being denied survivor benefits by the Social Security Administration. Her marriage was invalidated, and thus this great nation of ours is doing the “right thing” by denying her $500 extra in benefits. Wait, what?
Flying solo: 92-year-old transgender widow fights for survivor benefits – LGBTQ Nation.
What’s equally important is this: “NOTE: In some cases an individual’s sex may impact eligibility for benefits dependent upon spousal relationships. To make title II entitlement or title XVI eligibility determinations dependent upon marriage, follow the instructions in GN 00305.005B. Do not use sex field data on SSA records to make marital status determinations.” This means that if you change your SS record, it will NOT change your benefits eligibility, only the actual legal status of your marriage changes it.
via SSA – POMS: RM 10212.200 – Changing Numident Data for Reasons other than Name Change – 06/13/2013.