Showing posts with label Social Security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Security. Show all posts

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Be Careful What you Wish For

 Lately here in Cyrsti's Condo, we have been discussing a few of the ramifications of life insurance and to a differing degree, changing your legal gender markers.

Here in Ohio, it was not too difficult or expensive to change my legal name, gender on my driver's license, my name/gender in my Veterans Administration paperwork and my name on my social security card. (not my gender) Also, I still cannot change my birth certificate gender here in Ohio.

It turns out, not being able to change my Social Security gender at the moment turned out to be a good thing after I heard this from Connie:

"When I applied for Social Security and Medicare, I did so in person with the proper documentation with my legal name change. I did not, however, change my gender marker, as I felt it wasn't worth opening that can of worms. I guess I should have been more aware, though, because the person on the other side of the glass partition checked off the Female box for me. It ended up being a pain in the ass to get it changed back when I later had trouble getting Medicare to pay on a doctor bill. Health insurance considers the differences in male and female rates, as well as does life insurance (or did, then). Social Security tried to blame me for the "mistake," even though it would have required a specific application and documentation from me to make that change - which, of course, I did not provide, and they could not have had on file). Maybe I was just passing so well to the woman that day, I don't know. Sometimes, though, there are more important things than passing.

It behooves us to be diligent as we make changes throughout transitioning. In the case of life insurance, we won't be around to clean up any messes that our beneficiaries may be left to endure."

I guess it was obvious to the guy at Social Security that I didn't "pass" or then again, I don't remember if I "outed" myself by telling him I was transgender. It was five years ago now and on some days, I have a difficult time remembering last week. I just remember him saying he could change my name, not my gender. 

Of course too, I am under a different health system with Veteran's Administration health.  Under which if I ever experience problems with being transgender, there is a person/persons to call. 

So once again, there are many steps to consider when you are considering changing your legal gender markers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Home Alone

This is quite the comment from Connie. It has to do with my comment concerning paranoia spending any real time alone due to the effects of the Corona 19 virus:

"I have a difficult time falling asleep without the TV on, myself. In fact, I have a difficult time staying awake while watching TV any time after 9:00 PM. Many times I've awoken to some infomercial being shown at 3:00 AM while I'm still laid back in the recliner. At that point, there is no sense going to bed, if it's a work day, since my normal wake-up time is 4:00 AM. If I were to retire to the bedroom to go back to sleep, though, I'd have to turn on the TV there in order to do it. Without the TV on, I can't turn my brain off. The trouble is that, when I should be sleeping, my brain will turn all-OC on me - rehashing everything that really only required a passing thought. The TV is just enough of a distraction to keep this from happening.

There are very few TV shows that are so good that I really regret missing the second half of them. I've often wondered if I might be finishing the plot lines in my own dreams, but I don't remember many of my dreams, anyway. Most of them are probably no more interesting than the show that had put me to sleep in the first place!

I'm trying very hard to resist the temptation of reflection these days. I have so many things that need my attention in the here-and-now, and the uncertainty of the world around me is out of my control. I've lost some work, my wife has been asked to stay at home without pay indefinitely, and our governor has announced that he is seriously considering mandating that anyone over the age of 65 not to work at all. I don't know how they would police that, and I already joked to my boss that I might have to start a half-hour later to give me more time on my makeup in the morning - I only need to look 64. :-) Geesh, I've been a trans woman so long that there was time I could have been arrested for presenting as a woman on the street. Now, that's OK, but I could still be arrested for being an old woman on the street. Without enough income, though, I may have to resort to living on the street (in which case, the police wouldn't even give me a second look in this city).

I am trying to live as close to what was familiar to me before this Covid-19 thing started. There's no way to keep up with the changes coming, sometimes by the hour. Having a job to get up for every morning helps, but I still will get up and ready for the day if the work goes away - maybe at 6:00 AM instead of 4:00, though. And I'll end the day falling asleep to the TV, too!"

 Indeed we have entered scary times. Our three income family just lost one income and our main source of money (Liz) maybe forced into part-time hours...or worse. My income comes from Social Security which these days has been under attack from the current administration. Fortunately I have not let it bother me to the point of being up all night watching the television.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Social Security Steps Up

From ThinkProgress  Victory for the Transgender Community!:

"Today marks an important victory for the transgender community, even though it may appear to be a small paperwork technicality. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is now much easier for trans people to change their gender identity on their Social Security records. All that will now be required, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, is for individuals to submit government-issued documentation reflecting a gender change, or a certification from a physician confirming they have undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.

 This is a significant departure from the previous policy, which required documentation of complete sex reassignment surgery. Many trans people never undergo such procedures, either because they are too expensive, because they do not want to lose their procreative ability, or because it simply isn’t an important change for them to make to find authenticity in their identities. The SSA change eliminates this high standard for trans people to obtain the appropriate documentation for the gender that reflects how they live their daily lives. Though Social Security cards do not display gender, the SSA does maintain that information as data, and it can impact other governmental programs. For example, individuals seeking coverage under Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, or other public benefits could face complications if their gender markers do not match from form to form and identification to identification. In addition to an invasion of their privacy, the discordance could even lead to a denial of benefits.

 The new change will eliminate the obstacles trans people can face to access protections they often need because of other forms of discrimination they otherwise experience in society."

This is positively HUGE for people like me!