Identification Number:
GN 00203 TN 75
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Interviewing
Type:POMS Full Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM

Part GN – General

Chapter 002 – Applications and Interviews

Subchapter 03 – Interviewing

Transmittal No. 75, 01/16/2024

Audience

PSC: CA, CS, ICDS, ICTU, IES, ISRA, RECONR, SCPS, TSA, TST;
OCO-OEIO: CAQCR, CIES, CR, CTE, ERE, FCR, FDE, FDEC, RECONR;
OCO-ODO: BET, CR, CTE, CTE TE, DE, DEC, DS, RECONE;
ODD-DDS: DHU;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, DT, FR, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OISP

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

Pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13988, Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation, we updated this section to be more inclusive of gender diversity. We retitled this section so that it is not limited to transgender individuals.

Summary of Changes

GN 00203.008 Respecting Gender Identity During Interviews

Subsection A - We retitled this subsection "Policy for interviewing". We removed the terms "transgender" and "gender transition" in order to take focus away from needing to define these terms and instead used broader terms that still achieve the intended goal of respecting gender identity during interviews.

Subsection B - We retitled this subsection "Respecting gender identity during interviews". We incorporated information from Subsection D, where appropriate. We added several points to be mindful of during interviews, including suggestions from outside advocacy groups, and added examples.

Subsection C - We moved the "References" from subsection E to this subsection and added references to AO 40901.016 and GN 00203.020.

Subsection D - We moved and edited the content of this subsection to Subsection B. We removed the instruction about protecting the confidentiality of each individual, as this statement conflicts with the Privacy Act Statement that is provided to customers when we are collecting their information.

Subsection E - We moved the "References" to Subsection C.

GN 00203.008 Respecting Gender Identity During Interviews

A. Policy for interviewing

The Social Security Administration's (SSA) policy is to provide meaningful access to all our programs and treat all individuals with dignity and respect, regardless of gender identity or gender expression. See LGBTQ+|SSA for more information.

B. Respecting gender identity during interviews

When interviewing any member of the public, follow the interviewing guidelines found in GN 00203.000. Be mindful of the following:

  • When interacting with a customer (i.e., in office, by phone, etc.), address the individual by their first and last name shown on the most recent iteration of the NUMIDENT, unless the individual specifically requests being addressed by a different name.

  • Avoid using gendered language, such as Mr., Ms., Sir, Ma'am, etc., unless the individual specifically requests using these terms.

  • If the individual indicates how they would like to be addressed, use only the name the individual prefers, regardless of their current legal name. The individual's preferred name may be different than what appears on the documents they are supplying or within SSA records. Remind the individual that we need to verify their information as it currently appears within SSA records. If they request a name change, follow procedures to process a name change on the NUMIDENT, per RM 10212.015.

  • If an individual indicates preferred pronouns, use only the pronouns they indicated (e.g., she/her, he/him, they/them).

  • If you incorrectly refer to a person's name or pronoun, correct yourself and proceed with the questions necessary to complete the requested transaction.

  • Use only standard procedures to verify identity, see GN 00203.020. Do not ask questions about sex or gender when verifying identity.

  • Ask only questions that are necessary to complete the business transaction.

NOTE: When scheduling an appointment in the Enhanced Leads and Appointment System (eLAS) and the individual indicates a preferred name, title, or pronoun, add a remark for the interviewer on the Leads Protective Filing Information (LPF1) screen in eLAS.

Examples:

  • When calling someone by phone, say "Hello, may I speak with Jonathan Brooks?" (instead of, "Hello, may I speak with Mr. Brooks?").

  • If the individual asks to be called Jana, but you call them Jeffrey (the name on their NUMIDENT), say "I meant to say Jana" or "I'm sorry, Jana" and proceed with the questions necessary to complete the requested transaction.

C. References

  • AO 40901.016 Incorporating Inclusive Language in Internal and External-Facing Documents and Resources

  • GN 00203.000 Interviewing

  • GN 00203.020 Identity of Claimants

  • RM 10212.015 Evidence Requirements to Process a Name Change on the SSN


GN 00203 TN 75 - Interviewing - 1/16/2024