Social Security Administration ignores Florida gay father. His child suffers because of anti-gay discrimination

Gary Day has filed suit against the Social Security Administration. Day is a disabled father, whose repeated requests for assistance for his children has been ignored for over two years. Indications in the government’s responses point to anti-gay discrimination.

“Asking a father to wait more than 2 years for the SSA to decide whether his children are entitled to disability insurance suggests either a failure on the part of the agency to do its job or blatant discrimination based on the fact that these children have two dads,” said Beth Littrell, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta, Georgia. “Either way the SSA’s actions are unfair and unacceptable.”

In February of 2006, Day completed the applications for Child Insurance Benefits for his children. He provided birth certificates and court documents that acknowledge him as the legal parent of the children. The SSA acknowledged receipt of the application and promised to provide a response in 45 days. After over a year with no response, Lambda Legal sent a letter on Mr. Day’s behalf seeking action by the agency. The SSA still did not provide an initial determination of eligibility citing unspecified “legal questions and policy issues” involved with the application. Mr. Day has provided all the necessary documentation to establish a legitimate parent-child relationship and has fulfilled all of the SSA’s prerequisites. The SSA is required to determine whether or not the children are entitled to Child Insurance Benefits as dependents of Mr. Day, but have yet to do so for more than two years .

“As a parent, it is my job to provide for my children. Unfortunately, the SSA, who is supposed to help during a time of need, is standing in the way,” said Gary Day.

“The SSA is putting these children at a disadvantage by being unresponsive to Mr. Day’s request,” said co-counsel Lisa A. Linsky. “He and his children meet all the requirements that the agency needs to provide benefits. Delaying a response to their request for assistance for over two years is unwarranted and prejudicial to these children.”

Article adapted by ProudParenting.com from original press release.

3 thoughts on “Social Security Administration ignores Florida gay father. His child suffers because of anti-gay discrimination

  • May 31, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Were I a juror charged to decide if gay discrimination is at the root of the delay, I would not have enough information to reach a conclusion. A two year wait is a long time, but it does not prove discrimination. Many disability claimants wait much longer just to get a hearing.

    My advice to the legal counsel is to forget writing to the Congressperson (if you have done so); he or she is no help. Contact the Regional Office in Atlanta. Obtain the number for the Area Director that oversees the SS Office in question. The AD holds the purse for merit increases for District Managers in the local office; thus, ADs are amazingly effective at cutting red tape.

    I am not gay, by the way. People should receive good service whoever they are, and two years without a response is a run-around whatever the reason.

    Bob Burgess
    Cedar Creek, TX

  • May 29, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    My partner, of 12 yrs, and I are in the process of adoption and stories likes these have begun to attract my attention when I scan my daily blogs. Thank you for posting this. I look forward to following this story and seeing what the outcome will be.

    Thanks. KevinErskine@Hotmail.com

  • August 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    This is entirely unfair but the fact is your experience with Social Security is determined in large part by the person that handles your case. If you have issues it is best to go to your local office and speak with a case worker. It gives you a point of contact and the agency’s representitive has a real living person to attach to the claim they’re processing.

    Disability claims can be very tricky. It is imperative that the forms be filled out completely correc and that all needed documents are included. An actual case worker will review your application and tell you what needs to be done before you turn it in. If you mail it in the person processing the claim sees a defect, and rejects it. What else can they do? Then you wind up in the appeals process, a time consuming and frustrating place to be.

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