TN 76 (01-24)

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 to be addressed by a different name.

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

  • If the individual indicates how they would like to be addressed, address the individual by 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 the name in SSA records. Remind the individual that we need to verify their information as it currently appears within SSA records. If the individual requests a name change, follow procedures to process a name change on the NUMIDENT, found in RM 10212.015.

    NOTE: SSA records may need to reflect a legal name until evidence of a name change is provided, see RM 10212.000.

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

  • If you use and incorrect 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.


  • 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

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GN 00203.008 - Respecting Gender Identity During Interviews - 01/26/2024
Batch run: 01/26/2024