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I was encouraged to diary this in Denise Oliver's FP article today about the Raleigh Moral March she attended last week. So here it is...

I am one of the people - description: likely or known Democratic voters - considered as part of the minorities of general description for whom obtaining a state or federal picture ID is a problem. I am certainly not alone in being caught up in this ridiculous Teabagger disenfranchisement effort, so I hope that readers will begin to understand how this type of legislation impacts real people on the ground (so to speak).

A little background here is required. I wasn't born in the US of A. My father was a Naval officer, then assigned as Planning Officer (Pacific Fleet) in 1951. There was a war going on in the Pacific at the time, on the Korean Penninsula. Dad and Mom were living on the Subic Bay base, I was born in Olongapo. Outside the base perimeter at the time, so Philippine soil. My parents did the standard paperwork to get an FS-240 from the State Department, the official Record of Birth of an American citizen born abroad. Just so you know, Dad was born in Cincinnatti, Ohio, Mom was born in Miami, Florida. Scots-Irish and French/Scandinavian both ways. I am not Filipino, or even half, bear no resemblance.

Anyway, Dad got the FS-240 and attached (now yellowed and fragile) legal attestation from the Commander, Pacific Fleet. The family (parents and older sister) moved back to the states proper when I was 9 months old. My brother was born later that year in Monterey, California. Two younger sisters born in Maryland (Bethesda Naval Hospital) and New York over the following years. I'm the only one who made an initial appearance in St. Elsewhere. And the only one having trouble with legally demonstrating who I am so (after all these years) I will be allowed to vote.

My problem arises from my Philippine Amah, the nursemaid my parents hired to take care of me as an infant. She didn't speak much English, but was dedicated, and called me "Joy." It stuck like glue, was the only name my siblings knew, so when it came time for my parents to enroll me in school in the US, that name was included - the name I was known as and answered to. They included my legal names too, but my problem now comes from the government's refusal under the so-called PATRIOT Act (as amended in 2006) to recognize school records as legal ID. Suddenly, at the grand old age of 55, "Joy" could no longer be my name.

Not that I used it much. Always handy to being able to quickly sort junk/official mail from real friend/family mail. When we moved here to western North Carolina in 1992 after our son and business partner died, I used only my legal-legal names - first name as appears, maiden name as it appears, and married name as it appears. Never used the middle name anyway. All of which (from nicks to married to divorced names women these days have to struggle with for ID purposes) are indeed my honest-to-legal names. Just left out a few.

After 2006, which happened to be the year I had to renew my NC driver's license, I officially became - as echoed by ALL government flunkies I dealt with on ALL levels state and federal - "non-existent." I kid you not, that is what I was told so often it was all I could do to remain calm. "You Do Not Exist" they told me. Positively designed to piss me off (and it does, every time).

I have an entire file folder chock full of every identification anybody could ever want. Birth and citizenship documentation, school records 1st grade through college, previous drivers licenses/military IDs, medical and dental records, adoption papers (we adopted since we've been here), etc., etc. I've carried it from place to place for years, trying hard to get someone to help me with the 'system' so I could still be the perfectly legal US citizen and taxpayer and property owner I've always been. No such luck. Appealed to Heath Shuler when he was our erstwhile representative, his local chief of staff wouldn't answer my phone calls. I even hired a lawyer who wanted cash up front to have my name legally changed. It got as far as the Court Clerk, who laughed heartily when he saw the documentation. Why on earth would anyone need to have their name changed to their already-legal name? Just pick the ones you want from the list, and the gub'ment agents should have to comply. Right? Well, THEY obviously thought so. That cost me more than a thousand dollars I didn't have to blow. No resolution.

So I filed for 'early' Social Security last year, when I turned 62. I haven't been able to work outside the home since 2006 and the PATRIOT Act garbage, so might as well get my $325 a month now. I took the chock-full file folder down to the SS office in our nearest city (~35 miles from home) and waited. When finally called upon and showing all the ID-worthy stuff, they refused to grant me the insurance payments I've been paying into since I was 15, because those names don't match my 'legal' names I've been registered under for all the years we've lived here.

Now, it's not like SS or its affiliates at IRS care what name is attached to any pay-in from any job or that year's tax return. I've used several combos in my time. It all goes to the same place, because it's the number and not the name that counts. Anyway, I had to file an "Administrative Appeal" to some office in Kansas or Missouri or some such godforsaken place.

See, when I obtained my SS card/account at the age of 15, I did not have a copy of my FS-240 and affadavit. My parents were divorced. So I used my school records - from 1st grade through Junior High - as ID to get it done. That included "Joy" as well as the other names, I'd chosen "Joy" on purpose for the first name on the account/card because that's all anybody knows me as, and was on my bank account and driver's license (learner permit at the time) and everything else. Back in 1967 school records were fine as ID for such official purposes. As a Navy wife, the succession of combos of names have changed. The SS number never did.

Anyway, I won the appeal and have gotten my $325 every month since. What I didn't do was insist at that point that SS change the name on my account to the otherwise 'legal' names I've been using here for 22 years. I foolishly figured that if the federal government was all good with the names I have on my SS account (compared to my several other names not in use now but were), then I could convince them to change my name accordingly on state ID/driver's license, voter registration, etc., and now allow me to be party to the Credit Union account we got a few years ago in protest of our too big to fail bank. You can't do that either these days unless your names all match SS card, not an official form of ID. ARGH times ARGH!!!

State DMV told me in no uncertain "You Do Not Exist" terms that I have to have the SS card/account changed to reflect my choices locally. Which have been dutifully on file for 22 years. That means I have to arrange a day off ride to town and hours of waiting/dealing with the bureaucrats, hope to get it done in that visit/amount of time, and even then the change is going to interfere with my SS payments for a period of months before it comes out in the wash and I can get on the CU account for direct deposit. SS has told me I must, but I can't if they won't change the name. PATRIOT my ass...

I indeed do plan to have it all worked out well ahead of the 2016 elections, when it will actually matter at the polls here in NC. But I am not the only person who is having or will have trouble getting a duly certified NC state or federal (like passport) ID. Women have traditionally used whatever 'legal' names they owned, in any order they liked, as their 'official' identifications. I still have a Congressional Club Cookbook on the shelf that was my mother's from when Dad was at the Pentagon. It's got a whole intro section on greeting and seating arrangements for who goes where according to 'rank'. The greeting cards always used to be "Mrs. Joe Blow" without even a first name by which you could know the woman. Our identities were bound specifically to the guy we married. What then in divorce when you didn't used to have your name legally changed, you could just 'revert' to your maiden? It's way more common these days. So are powerful women who are themselves members of Congress or SCOTUS judges or cabinet members or such. We have our own names. We should be able to pick the ones we're known by, and the government should have to comply. NOT the other way around!

So anyway, this is my tale of identity hardship. If you went looking, you'd be able to find many more if you can assure people they won't be stigmatized for it. No matter what the embarrassment of obstacles our states and federal governments put in front of us to disenfranchise us, we have to jump those hurdles. If we don't, then they can remove our rights wholesale.

Originally posted to Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Everybody (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, randallt, Bronxist, worldlotus, chira2

    Everybody should have a good photo ID at this stage of the game. I think the better effort would be in working on laws making it easier to get them.

    Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

    by Zornorph on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 01:33:41 PM PST

    •  As Joieau points out, she has had a "good" (29+ / 0-)

      photo ID her entire life.  The issue in continuing to have "good" photo ID is with the documentation now required to renew that ID.

      Like the diarist, my father was military.  I had military photo ID until I ceased being my father's dependent. First passport issued when I was around age 4.  Driver license since age 16; SS card since forever.  Ditto as an adult.

      Taxpayer, property owner & registered to vote for over 40 years.

      And yet, I will be facing similar "I do not exist" hurdles when I have to renew my DL.

      Because I do not have a birth certificate.  I was adopted in a country that does not do birth certificates-not 60 something years ago & not today.  

      I do have ancient adoption papers translated into English & US naturalization certificate-in my maiden name with my toddler photo attached.  That along with various marriage & divorce records should help (snark) me renew my long held "good" ID at the podunk DL facility.....

      But I am not counting on it.

      And there is not a "fix" for my dilemma of no birth certificate.

      •  Thanks, worldlotus. (16+ / 0-)

        I've been a "Citizen In Good Standing" all my 60+ year life. It was only when the f'king paranoids of 2006 "amended" the law to make a SS card name a requisite form of ID - but STILL not a legal ID - that I ran into trouble. As I said, IRS/SS never cared what name got attached, it was THE NUMBER that counted. That has never changed.

        I'm guessing Zornorph is someone who has no real experience with bureaucratic life in the US of A that it's not a problem for him/her. Therefore it must not be a problem for anybody else. Might as well be an ignorant teabagger. ARGH!

        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

        by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 02:57:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I fully expect brains to melt when I have to (8+ / 0-)

          renew my DL.  Which btw, I need when I vote or do regular stuff besides driving.

          One could still renew online at my last renewal & gave the choice to pay a bit more for a longer renewal time frame.  To save time & $, I chose the extended renewal.

          This happened before all the "absolute proof you exist" rules came into play.  Otherwise, today, much like your scenario,  I would probably not exist.  Heh, I've got another year or so in existence.

          Besides really ticking me off to discover what has happened to you & no doubt countless others is the fear that this engenders.  

          Think about it.  Whether it be a state issued ID or a drivers license, normal activities of daily living are dependent on these forms of ID.

          Now these IDs seemingly dictate whether some of us exist despite decades of possessing the same form of ID.  

          For those without unique circumstances, it would be hard to understand the anger or the fear or the sudden realization that our country suddenly resembles a "papers please" scenario from cinema or a distant past or other country.

          For those without the documentation or the inadvertent mis-spelling or the use of a nickname etal, it can be costly & impact in multiple ways.

          Throughout my lifetime I have been mobile & have watched as our US population has become increasingly mobile.  Gotta wonder why those that invented these new rules did not note the same & consider the roadblocks these rules would present to an increasingly mobile and/or aging society.

          •  Oh, I think they noticed it, (11+ / 0-)

            very acutely. And have the inside stats on who it most often affects. Dem (or likely Dem) supporters. Less stuck on tradition, thus more mobile, women, minorities, etc. I can only speak as a woman (of certain age), and how maddening this has been for far too many years already with no solution in sight if SS wants to give me another hard time.

            And I've been married to the same [white] guy for 45 years. What if I'd been divorced a few times like my Mom or sisters? It's all so very unreasonable. ESPECIALLY because SS cards/accounts aren't legal forms of ID anywhere at all. It's only the number that counts. You just can't get a legal form of ID anymore that doesn't match it exactly.

            Pain. In. The. Ass. And expensive as hell. Who can I sue for everything it's cost (as well as the years in purgatory of non-existence)? I'm planning to do some very in-your-face voter registration this year, once it warms up. I've gotta have all the tricks of the trade answers handy when I do, because I'm not the only person who will find themselves suddenly afoul of the law when they go to vote.

            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

            by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 06:29:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good question Wish I knew. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skyye, jilikins, Onomastic, Laurel in CA
              Who can I sue for everything it's cost (as well as the years in purgatory of non-existence)?
              My parents, now deceased, served this country in times of war or peace their entire lives.  Sacrificed to do so without complaint.  It was not an easy thing to adopt me (& others)-it took an act of congress at the time.  

              They could never have foreseen that someday their act, (along with numerous others) of compassion & advocacy would bite me in the butt.   Glad my parents will never know.

              I cannot help but think of the many people that fought long and hard to allow the original 300 orphans into this country post WWII/Korea (for adoption).  And the next wave during the Vietnam conflict.  Doubtful those kiddos-now elders- had birth certificates.  

              Perhaps just a small segment of US citizens impacted in this way but what a travesty for all those that fought so hard for us (orphans).  What a mess to contemplate.

              So many varied scenarios; so many diverse citizens this law affects.  Yet who will ever hear the singular voices or record the aggregate disenfranchisement of US citizens?

              •  Can you even sue if you 'don't exist'? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau

                My daughter-in-law, who is Chinese/Japanese from Taiwan, and not yet a citizen, had similar bureaucratic problems getting a green card.  She has (or rather had) two legal names and three passports (Taiwan, Japan, and Canada--her father bought property in Canada back in the 90's as a hedge against possible chaos in Asia, and the family became landed immigrants).  Plus she is in a sensitive profession (analysis of satellite imagery).  Getting a green card took several years, and she had to renounce two citizenships, and one name.  So she goes by her Chinese name, that we had never heard before, and that no one ever used except for her now-deceased father, and the Taiwanese bureaucrats, and now the US bureaucrats.

                Not the same problem (nor as frustrating) as the diarist's efforts at obtaining a voter ID, but still pertinent from an immigration POV.

                Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

                by triplepoint on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:21:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, you can sue (0+ / 0-)

                  even if you are a non-existent nobody. I was party to a lawsuit during the '90s, nobody made a stink about names on an SS card. All they ever wanted was the number, just like IRS.

                  I've also bought property, no problem. And legally adopted a goddaughter when her Mom died. My legal names in this state are all names on my FS-240 and marriage license. I just can't get an ID/driver's license until and unless those names match what's on the SS card exactly. I've been registered to vote since '92 under those perfectly legal names too. But unless I can get the SS card to match so I can get a picture ID from the state, I will not be allowed to vote in 2016.

                  As of now the problem lies with SSA. I will try again later this week to have the names changed. Since I won the appeal, they can no longer tell me I don't exist. Or, I supposed they could, at which point I will calmly demand to speak to a supervisor immediately.

                  There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                  by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:46:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, it looks favorable, anyway. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joieau

                    Best of luck!  But you may find it's turtles all the way down.

                    Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

                    by triplepoint on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:02:33 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  This is the exact senario - why I came back (7+ / 0-)

          to the US to have my second born... Military dependent in Panama - after the canal was turned over to the Panamanians.

          Military hospital not on US installation- but on Panama territory - so all the legal birth certificate stuff was under Panamanian control.

          Thank God I did - I could just see this stuff playing out now for my 20 YO!

          Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

          by totallynext on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 05:43:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've had perfectly good (13+ / 0-)

      photo IDs in my life. Passport as a baby, driver's licenses in 6 states, military dependent ID (twice), voter's registration, etc., etc. I am a perfectly legal citizen of this country and the state of North Carolina, where I have adopted children and own - free and clear - property. Cars registered in my name, taxes paid local, state and federal. For 45+ years, thank you very much. I am now over 60.

      ALL of my legal names are my legal names. They have always been my legal names. It's just that the so-called PATRIOT Act served to remove legal status from any/all of them that don't match my SS card (which I got in 1967 with school records and have paid into ever since). Looks to people like you that it's just a mix-up easily fixed. I am writing this diary to let people like you know that's not how it's working. I really did have to file administrative appeal when I filed for my SS benefits. That's hassle enough, I promise. Now I've got to get them to change the name, which is pretty much exactly the same thing as the clerk laughed at when I tried to change my name legally. Why would anybody need to change their legal name to their legal name? So even THAT is barred to me. I know, because I've tried to do that very thing.

      You have a problem with that? Then give me an answer. I've been seeking it for awhile now...

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 03:08:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Must not (7+ / 0-)

        I must not have been clear enough and I'm sorry for that. What I meant was that people in your circumstances (and in others) should not have such a hard time getting or renewing photo ID. I think the 'Patriot' Act (God, how I hate that odious name) is probably the worst piece of legislation passed in the past 20 years. To me, the argument shouldn't be 'Photo ID shouldn't be a requirement to vote because it's too hard to get' but 'Photo ID should be made easier to get since it's a requirement to vote and everybody in this modern society needs it anyway.'
        Given the Right-Wing paranoia about a national ID card, it's probably one area where you might get some bipartisan agreement.

        Good girls shop. Bad girls shop. Shoppin', shoppin' from A to Z!

        by Zornorph on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 04:12:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, got you, Zornorph. (7+ / 0-)

          Undocumented immigrants can get driver's licenses in my state. There have been several at the DMV every time I've gone to try and get this worked out. Don't even have to speak English, there's a Spanish speaker in residence to make it easy for them, don't have to have any documentation on birth or citizenship. It's ME that needs such documentation.

          I have no problem with drivers from Mexico, so long as they know what the signs mean they don't have to speak English. I'm just very upset that I can't get a driver's license. The 'rules' are quite different for me. They won't renew because my SS card doesn't match, even though I've plenty of legal documentation for the name I've been going on legally since we moved here in '92, even had a renewed three times driver's license right here, same address, still just me. That's absurd beyond belief, but is the law.

          Where the hell am I supposed to go if I don't want to be a homebound prisoner (with no rights) here where I live? It's not like I can get a passport to leave the country or anything nowdays. Could I petition for them to deport me to the Philippines? Though it's not like I'd fit in any better there...

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 05:05:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  See my comment below (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jilikins, worldlotus, Joieau

        I think I may be able to help you. I have no idea what you had to file the appeal with SSA for. I am positive it was not anything to do with your name (you cannot appeal SSA enumeration policy). I did the research for you and although my small government flunkie mind may have missed something I want you to read it below :)

    •  And just so you know, Zornorph, (9+ / 0-)

      I have several family geneologies right here in my desk drawer that I've been sorely tempted to try and use as 'official' ID/proof of citizenship since this whole mess started. I'm just mean that way, I guess.

      On my Dad's side it traces back to the Mayflower, Resolved White (my original paternal ancestor in this country married his granddaughter Susanna, mid-1600s). Mom's side of the family came through marriage into the Washington family, George's grandfather to be exact. Three of the cousins were with George at Valley Forge. Nobody ever thought to question husband's credentials, his great-grandma was a sister to Jesse and Frank James (and from there back to original English settlers in the 1600s). I don't think any of them ever actually swore any oaths or got 'naturalized', there were no such bureaucratic hurdles way back then, when they were still busy stealing the country from the natives.

      It's mostly the "You Do Not Exist" garbage that irks me and people like me, for whom all it would take is someone willing to actually review the documentation and sign off on it to reaffirm our full red-blooded citizenship under any name we can reasonably claim and offer documentation for. I promise you it wouldn't cause a court of law a moment's hesistation to rule on my estate when the time comes, under any of my operative names. The teabaggers just want to take away my right to vote. Which I've exercised every couple of years since I turned 21 in 1972.

      Disenfranchisement is ugly, in all its insidious forms.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 04:32:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  fine, then pass a national ID law (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, worldlotus

      as in Mexico, for example.

      It must be free and as least as a clusterfuck as possbile.

      What Joy has endured is unacceptable and unAmerican.

      “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

      by ozsea1 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 09:30:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember elderly black citizens (14+ / 0-)

    Could not be born in hospitals at all

    But when I told me 92year old father in law that because he was born at home in mN D if his eyesight prevented him from driving he probably could not get alternative ID in this state, he went ballistic.

    •  Hospital births were a 'fad' (9+ / 0-)

      that only lasted from the ~'50s through '70s as Standard Operating Procedure in the U.S. My neice (born 1985) and both elder grandsons (born 1990) were born at home attended by licensed midwives. Who signed off on a form we later took to the gub'ment registrar in order to obtain birth certificates.

      An awful lot of people of certain classes and income levels seem to think their own personal experience of political/bureaucratic life in these here supposedly united states must describe everyone's experience. It does not, and never has. My husband's folks' families came in covered wagons to Indian Territory several decades before Oklahoma was a state, and their documentation would be just as suspect as mine these days if the simple fact of one's existence and ample records thereof didn't count. As they no longer count, since 2006 and the g'damned PATRIOT Act.

      This was once known as the "Home of the Brave." At least, that's what I learned in school lo those many years ago. Americans aren't looking very brave these days, and the stretched attempts to disenfranchise millions of us wholesale are pretty darned cowardly.

      P.S. Along with my voter's registration card, a family bible's filled in blanks are in fact "Proof" of identity when getting a state ID these days. The problem is that the state ID one gets with such proofs may not match the name on one's Social Security card. Unless one's state picture ID matches the SS card exactly, one is officially deemed non-existent. As in, "You Do Not Exist." Deal with that after waiting weeks for opportunity to wait all day at the damned office to see a live human, file folders chock full of identification in tow.

      It's positively maddening. Designed to be thus. Our Government At work, but not for us.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 04:15:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, designed to disenfranchise (4+ / 0-)

        There is nothing wrong with my father-in-law's midwife certificate, family bible and first grade report card, all of which got him a driver's licence for 75 years, except that now if he goes to a Florida office for a different kind of ID they won't give it to him.

        Asked Homeland security what happens if I lose my license while traveling; my gun card works but my state university faculty ID does not.

  •  excellent diary (14+ / 0-)

    i'm on my third last name. been married twice.

    when i file for my second divorce, I'm going to keep my ex's name. i did that last time, too. i don't think i have my own last name anyway. it's always going to be my dad's or some husband's name.

    if i tried to take my mom's maiden name, i'd just end up with her dad's name.

    if men didn't have the same name cradle to grave, and had to deal withthe expense and paperwork and hassle women do, they'd never stand for it.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 04:40:16 PM PST

    •  That's for damned sure! (3+ / 0-)

      As I said, immigrant - even undocumenteds without even so much as a green card - can be licensed to drive in my state. I can't, because SS (which never cared about name) doesn't match. Caught by the PATRIOT Act's provision that all must match. And bureaucrats state and federal who get their daily kicks by fucking with little old ladies. ARGH!!!

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 05:20:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Honestly I do not get kicks (0+ / 0-)

        by getting yelled at by the likes of you. It is incredibly frustrating when people who do not know or understand the law but think that they do know start making a fuss. All of my customers feel like whatever they bring into the office should suffice for every issue they have. This happens daily on a multitude of topics (WEP, GPO. SSN Card issues, filing options, tax withholdings, and my favorite, MEDICARE!!!).

        I know my post is coming off a bit rude but as you may have noticed I do not like being called a flunkie.

    •  What would you consider your own last name? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      I can understand not wanting to change it upon marriage, but the one you are born with is just as much yours as your father's.

      •  ...and if you have children? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus

        It's not as easy as you want to think.

        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

        by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 08:36:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In our culture it is generally by male line. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          Spanish speaking countries often use [father's name] y [mother's name].  Each family can make their own decision as far as I'm concerned.  Some use hyphenated names though I personally think that gets cumbersome.  My point is whatever name you get at birth is your own name regardless of how it was derived.

          •  That's why I used my maiden name (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            as a middle name/initial when we moved here 22 years ago. Given first name, maiden name, husband's name. "Joy" not included, it's been a long time since I was in school. It wasn't a problem until 2006. Because my SS card says "Joy."

            ...and the state - or even SS - can no longer accept school records as proof of ID. Even though it was SS that accepted the school records in the first place when I was 15. This can become maddening very quickly. I have more than once expressed that quite succinctly to the workers/guards at DMV and/or SS since this all began. They insult me, I'll insult them right back if I can. Daughter tells me I need to change my name (since I had a lawyer hired to do so) to "Jihad Joy."

            Somehow, I doubt that's gonna fly far around here... §;o)

            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

            by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 09:42:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Just a note, you may have meant (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nancyjones, flowerfarmer, worldlotus

        to highlight this issue... Why do we have to bear the names of fathers and/or husbands? It's not like most of our civilizational law isn't about property and/or title rights (inheritance) from the male line. The problem with that is nobody really knows for sure who the father is - or, it's been that way until just the past couple of decades. Everybody always knows who the mother is. But she's not entitled to a name or identity of her own, is she?

        Again, double ARGH!!!

        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

        by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 09:06:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've thought about this too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, worldlotus, NWTerriD

      and decided, if I ever need/want to change my last name again, I'm going to use one of my female ancestors FIRST names as my last name. And, since I have Norwegian ancestry, I might consider going with something like Juliasdotter.

      When lots of people show up to vote, Democrats tend to win.

      by Audri on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 06:52:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary (10+ / 0-)

    I am dreading the day that I must get my Florida driver's license renewed due to the requirements under the Patriot Act.  I have a birth certificate with my maiden name on it.  However, I was married in 1969 and took my then husband's last name and then used my maiden name as my middle name, thus dropping my given middle name.  When we divorced several years later, I opted to keep my married name because it was the only name anyone that I professionally associated with knew me by.

    Several years later, I married my current husband.  When the marriage license was filled out, the clerk required me to use my birth middle name on the license, not my maiden name which appeared as my middle name on all other official documents including my divorce papers.  

    Men have no idea how much more difficult it is for a woman to prove her identity, especially if she has been married and divorced and remarried.  

    This whole charade of requiring more identification for people who have been in the system for decades.  For me, I have been in the Florida driver's license system for over 50 years and in the Florida voter registration system for over 45 years.  I had to prove who I was back then when I first entered the system and proved who I was each time I had to change my name and address.  Why should each of us who have been in the systems so long need to go back and reconstruct a path of our entire lives once again?  It is insane.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 06:48:11 PM PST

  •  Home births and burned-down court houses (6+ / 0-)

    are another obstacle. My mon was born at home like alot of people at one time. Her parents did register her brith but  the court house burned down. She had to get someone alive at the time to witness that she was born where and when she did.

    All this is too crazy. Next thing they will ask us to get a tatoo of our ss# put on us to prove we exist.

    •  Burned down courthouses. (4+ / 0-)

      Didn't think of that, got to be an issue. The Philippines has had a couple of revolutions since I was born. And my "home town" of Olongapo disappeared under tons of ash when Punatubo blew. Where you gonna go when de volcano blow?

      I've got all the requisite documentation. Nobody born here in the US has to provide "proof of citizenship" like mine, where it says right there on the State Dept. form (plus affidavit) that I'm an American citizen. Like my parents. And all my siblings. And all their kids and grandkids. Most ridiculous.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:31:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Working on 3d strike re-sentencing in CA (6+ / 0-)

    means exposure to a lot of situations where names people have gone by tend not to be the "real" ones.

    "Kellie" all her life found out she was really "Kelly" when she was born in TX, and "Sharon" is really "Donna"--

    Trying organizing docs to get a Memphis birth cert for a guy who hasn't been back there since he was born, having lived in CA all his adult life (now approaching 60). And no living parents or any other useful relatives.

    And on and on and on!

    Not that it can't be done, mind you, but it ain't cheap and these folks tend to have NO MONEY to pay for the process, not to mention that without help they have no clue as to how to go about getting it done.

    Now most of these people have lawyers to help them & it's still complicated. Imagine how many would just throw up their hands otherwise.

    But in CA, once we get 'er done, they can register to vote and you better believe I encourage them to do so.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:01:26 PM PST

    •  Amen, murphy! (4+ / 0-)

      And I'm here to tell you that an expensive lawyer isn't even a help here in "End of the Earth" -ville. If the court refuses to accept the petition, what more can I do?

      ...but get the SS to change my name. Which is gonna cost me in very necessary monthly income, now that it's going. It's not much, but it's something. We need it. Pisses me right off that they keep telling me I don't exist, don't have a name. I have some perfectly nice names, thank you. Let's pick the ones I want under this law, and that should be the end of it.

      But it's not. Hasn't been since 2006, nearly a decade now. Out of my 6+ decades of life on this planet, thank you very much. These gawd-awful Teabaggers have GOT to go. I have to be able to vote in order to get rid of them. Good this year, not in 2016.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:27:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's only one catch: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        That's Catch-22.

        The colonel said you will be cremated on sight if you show up in the orderly room.

        For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

        by Grey Fedora on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 09:15:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I actually told the SS lady (0+ / 0-)

          at my not-really 'local' office after I'd showed her all my ID documents (including dental x-rays, what more do they need?) and she re-affirmed that I do not exist, that I got caught in the Catch-22. She sat up and noticed, as if she knew what that meant. Not such common knowledge these days, but this law was specifically meant to draw the designation. She heard that, I'm sure, at the same gub'ment employee retreat where she learned the well-practiced, designed-to-insult "You Do Not Exist" line...

          At least I didn't have to do time censoring letters home from the troops... nouns today, verbs tomorrow, weekend fun with adjectives. ARGH!!!

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 09:31:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My last Gub'ment retreat (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skyye

            was in Las Vegas where we sat around sipping champagne and doing blow. All the while snickering about screwing little old ladies out of their benefits! It was a hoot, wish you were there xoxo

            Gub'ment flunkie

            •  You do know there's a DBAD (3+ / 0-)

              rule here at DKos, right? Your personal sensitivity is not impressive here and certainly isn't helpful, so please take it back to the office. Thanks.

              There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

              by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:53:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  We're not expensive (0+ / 0-)

        we're just good. But we're in CA, so...

        I must be dreaming... (3764 forever!)

        by murphy on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 09:59:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am a government flunkie so let me help you... (11+ / 0-)

    Your true and legal name for SSA purposes consists if your first and last name only.
    https://secure.ssa.gov/...

    This can be derived form your original birth documents or your latest name changing event. For example, a court order changing or establishing your legal name, birth certificate, marriage certificate, or divorce decree. if you have ever changed your name we can accept any other document listed here https://secure.ssa.gov/....

    It sounds like your problem is that your very first SSN card was established using a "nickname" of Joy. This is very common for people in your age group. As you already know the legal name issue only recently became a huge deal with the passing of the Patriot Act and the implementation of Real ID throughout most of the US.

    In your case I want you to print this POMS (Our/SSA internal policy and law) linked below (after this wall of text) and take it with you to your local field office. You have a very simple case and I don't know why you have been unsuccessful in getting a resolution from SSA.  

    Because your SSN card was issued prior to 12/17/2005 (the date that all of the legal name change policy took effect) you simply need to show your true legal name (as shown on your latest name change document as stated above in Policy, most likely your marriage certificate) and current ID (drivers license, state id card, health insurance card, passport, military id etc...). Most importantly you need to let SSA know that when you were younger (prior to 12/17/2005) you used Joy as a nickname.

    We can correct your SSN card based on that allegation as long as all of your other biographical information matches (dob, parents names, place of birth, and citizenship). The documents I would recommend bringing in is your original FS-240, if you still have it, your marriage certificate, presuming that is your latest "name changing event", and your latest ID. We love to use marriage certificates because most states do not explicitly make you choose a new name and as long as one is not specifically stated on the certificate then we can use any combination of names that we can derive from the marriage certificate.

    https://secure.ssa.gov/...
    RM 10212.150 Name Corrections on the SSN Card

    A. Name correction vs name change on the SSN

    A name correction:
    requires an action to show a person’s legal name on the SSN card as defined in RM 10212.001.
    does not require a name change event to have taken place because the Numident does not show a prior legal name,
    includes a subsequent name correction based on a current marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership.
    A name change:
    requires an action to show a person’s legal name on the SSN card
    requires a name change event to have taken place because the Numident name is the prior legal name of the number holder. For additional information on name changes, see RM 10212.001.
    B. When are name corrections processed

    Develop for name corrections when there has been no legal name change event and the Numident record either:
    does not show the number holder’s legal name (generally, the latest Numident record will have been established before the implementation of SSA’s legal name policy on 12/17/05); OR
    does not show the number holder’s preferred version of his or her legal name as permitted under RM 10212.001.
    The purpose of the name correction is to update the number holder’s SSN card to show his or her legal name, when requested by the applicant.
    NOTE: Replacement card applicants are not required to change or correct their names shown on the SSN card to reflect the legal name per RM 10212.005 if current evidence of identity agrees with name on the latest SSN card. If an applicant does not want to correct the name shown on the SSN card to reflect his or her legal name but an external entity (e.g., DMV) was electronically unsuccessful at verifying the name and SSN then:
    process a replacement card application, per RM 10210.015;
    complete all of the name fields following RM 10205.130; and
    suppress the card, if the applicant does not need a replacement card.
    NOTE: Despite a successful electronic verification of the name and SSN, some State DMVs require the name on the SSN card to reflect the person’s current legal name. Applicants in these States may be required to request a name correction on the SSN card in order to obtain or renew a driver’s license or identity card. In these situations, develop for a name correction per RM 10212.160. For name changes, see RM 10212.010.
    C. What evidence is required to process a name correction?

    To process a name correction you must establish the applicant’s legal name and obtain evidence of identity.
    1. Evidence of legal name

    Establish a person’s legal name by following either the:
    Policy for legal name in RM 10212.001; or
    Using the NL2 line on a prior Numident record for a US born applicant, when it agrees with the alleged legal name as shown on current evidence of identity and the microprint of the latest SSN application changing the name on the card to a different name does not indicate evidence of a legal name change was submitted. For information on use of the Full Name at Birth line on the SSN application and Numident, see RM 10205.125.
    2. Evidence of identity

    Always request evidence of identity in the new name (i.e., legal name to be shown on the SSN card). The biographical information on all evidence documents submitted, other than the name, must agree with the information on the documents submitted.
    EXCEPTION: Evidence of identity in either the prior name or new name is acceptable if the subsequent name correction is based on a current marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership.
    D. References

    RM 10212.001, Legal Name for an SSN
    RM 10212.155, Subsequent Name Correction Based on Current Marriage, Civil Union and Domestic Partnership
    RM 10205.125 Entering NH’s Name in SSNAP
    RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card

    https://secure.ssa.gov/...
    Specifically section D
    D. Name on Numident Record Is a Nickname

    Robert Moser contacts SSA because the DMV says that SSA does not verify the name and SSN information he provided to them. He submits to SSA evidence of identity and his BC in his name (Robert Moser). However, the Numident record shows his name as Bob Moser. The CYD indicates the SS-5 was processed in 1980 when Mr. Moser was a teenager (age 15) and before SSA’ legal name policy was in effect. Mr. Moser alleges that “Bob” is a nickname for Robert, which he used at the time. All biographical information on the documents, other than the first name, agrees with the Numident. NOTE: In general, this situation will exist only with prior Numident iterations established before 12/17/05, when SSA’s legal name policy became effective.
    In this case, evidence of the legal name and evidence of identity following RM 10212.150 C has been submitted. Since Mr. Moser alleges that the first name shown on the Numident is a nickname (whether recognizable to the interviewer or not) and the evidence established the legal name and identity of the number holder, a name correction can be processed.
    NOTE: If there is any doubt concerning whether the SSN belongs to the current applicant or whether the name on the Numident is a legal name or nickname, request additional evidence of identity or request the SSA microprint, to confirm the identity of the number holder and whether any evidence submitted with the prior SS-5 would have established the applicant’s legal name (e.g., a BC was submitted). For instructions on requesting a copy of a completed SSN application, see RM 10220.365.

    Lastly, I wish you all the luck in the world dealing with those stupid government flunkies like me that only took these jobs because we were too dumb/fat/gay/lazy/black/rude to work in the private sector.

    Sincerely,
    Government Flunkie

    •  Achillios0311, this is helpful info-thank you for (6+ / 0-)

      taking the time to post this for any who may need it!

      In an aside, I believe that most beings recognize the value of your service & that you personally are not responsible for the myriad rules & regulations involved.

      Please do not be offended by the understandable frustration voiced by those affected adversely by laws, rules, regulations.  Frustrations not aimed at you personally but rather at the real hardships such situations create.

    •  Thanks for the advice, Achillios. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Achillios0311, FindingMyVoice

      I expect SSA will change my card/account name without too much hassle when I can arrange a ride to the office and a day out of my and my driver's lives to work it out. Since my appeal of their refusal to accept my filing for SS benefits, they have in their file all the evidence of identity they need to change the name.

      That evidence IS the FS-240, the attached affidavit from PACFLEET, and the marriage license. Since they no longer accept school records, I'll just line it up with the first name, my maiden name, and my married name, lose the middle name I've never used as well as the only familiar name I've ever known. As it now stands, my SS card has my familiar name (NOT a shortened version of any other name, but a totally different name), my first name as it appears on all my records, and my married surname. My SS check comes with all three of those names, all of which legally belong to me. One of my grandsons has 4 names on his SS card/account.

      My nearly 20 years of formal education magically goes away, I guess. Good thing I don't need it for a resume. Back before the PATRIOT Act renewal went into effect school records were recognized by state and federal governments as identification for any/all legal purposes, thus "Joy" is in fact as much my legal name as those on my FS-240 and marriage license. Which is why the county court wouldn't consider my petition for name change. All my names are my legal names already. I'm simply having trouble with state and federal governments in getting them to match exactly. It SHOULD be simple, but it is not. That is an issue with the people who interface with the public, not with me. They all spout exactly the same words, in the same order, whenever I've attempted to work it out - "You Do Not Exist." That is designed to brush me off, not to help me out.

      The problem is that I do not have and cannot get a current ID from the state, which means I cannot be a principal on our bank account, cannot get a job outside the home, cannot fly, cannot drive, cannot (as of 2016) vote. Because the names I have used since 1992 for any/all legal purposes do not match the names on my SS card, and the state will not allow me to use the names that ARE on my SS card. So I must change the SS card/account instead. I understand that at this point it's just time and hassle out of my life. Again. Presuming that I am not yet again brushed off, and yet again have to appeal a pig ignorant decision made because whoever I get in to see at SSA is having a bad day.

      It's been going on for 8+ years now. Obviously, if it were simple it would have been worked out long before now. "You Do Not Exist" is what these government operatives were TAUGHT to say to people like me who need their help and supposed job expertise, so that is what I've been told. Over and over and over again, for years. If that truth insults you, you might bring it up at your next staff meeting as a problem y'all really need to work on. "You Do Not Exist" is damned insulting too.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 09:03:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  For SSA employees this is incorrect. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northbronx, bluedust

        No one has ever taught me or anyone in my district to spout "You Do Not Exist" or any other blow off excuses. We want to help you, we really want to help you in one trip so you don't have to come back and keep increasing our foot traffic.

        I am sorry it is not getting done but have you looked at any of the identity policy I posted above? We don't necessarily need a current DL or ID card, we accept tons of other documents as ID and yes we still do accept school records! I don't know who told you we don't accept school records. Maybe you are presenting photocopies? WE only accept original or certified documents for enumeration purposes.

        It sucks you cannot use three, four, or five different names or combinations of names anymore but personally I feel like having one true and legal name is important a step in the right direction.

        I deal with people like you all day long. This problem, if it really has been 8 years, should have been fixed long ago. Why haven't you asked for management to get involved, asked for Congressional help, or advisement from an attorney? Don't blame the employees for a bad law. I see you said above that you had an attorney try to change your name with the county and they ended up laughing at you?

        It's been going on for 8+ years now. Obviously, if it were simple it would have been worked out long before now. "You Do Not Exist" is what these government operatives were TAUGHT to say to people like me who need their help and supposed job expertise, so that is what I've been told. Over and over and over again, for years. If that truth insults you, you might bring it up at your next staff meeting as a problem y'all really need to work on. "You Do Not Exist" is damned insulting too.
        What is damned insulting is your constant use of RW framing and Teabagger logic of Govt Flunkie and Govt Operatives! The problem is a simple one as stated above, if that policy alone does not get you fixed then there is more to the story or you just don't want to be helped.
        •  It is clear that you are easily offended. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Achillios0311

          That is an issue I've encountered more than a few times both with NC DMV and the regional SSA personnel. Why would both governments post prominently their 'new' policy of NOT accepting school records if, in fact, those are still good for establishing identification? If it were just NC, SSA would not have had an issue with those records for establishing my identity at filing, since I had used them when I was a teenager to get the original account/card. They refused my claim specifically BECAUSE I had nothing but those same school records to establish that I am "Joy" as is the first name on my card. My appeal was successful because I made that argument to the higher-ups - same ID I'd presented back in the 1960s should be adequate now that I'm 'retired' and filing for benefits.

          I asked my Congressman for help. His local CoS never returned my calls. He is no longer a politician, the new guy doesn't even maintain a staffed local office. I hired an attorney, he cost quite a lot of money (as lawyers do). He was unable to get the name change because the clerk of county court in my county said it wasn't necessary, as all my names are already my legal names. Just pick the ones I want and both state and feds should do my bidding as to which ones I want to use. But instead of doing my bidding, I have been repeatedly told by workers at SSA and DMV that I do not exist. That's a brush-off, not a "let's look at your stuff and see what we can do." Given that they all use the same words in the same order, it looks to me like a policy and not a coincidence of grumpy employees everywhere I've turned.

          I don't want or need four different names or combos of names. I need one that will match all the others. I haven't cared if it was changing my state IDs to match the SS card, or changing the SS card to match my state IDs. The problem is that neither the state nor SSA have thus far been willing to change the names.

          You do not have to like anybody's characterization of government workers who go so far out of their way to be both personally insulting and decidedly UNhelpful to the public. Nothing right or left 'wing' about the impression they're giving to the public on purpose. It's what they've been taught to do or they wouldn't all be doing it. This is why so many members of the general public would rather get a root canal than deal with noxious low-level government workers.

          My issue should be cleared up with my next visit to SSA. I will be spending a good deal of time this year registering voters, and my experience with this mess will help me to understand the issues others have in getting their identifications lined up under the PATRIOT Act provisions. My state legislature has been working hard to disenfranchise as many voters as possible, so we the voters have to somehow get around their roadblocks.

          Your choice to take personal offense at my situation is of exactly zero concern or use to me. You being a dick in my diary does inform me that my local government workers aren't the only ones with no respect for rules and a palpable dislike of the public they're supposed to serve. Thanks for the fine illustration of that, since that is why this "simple" problem wasn't fixed years ago.

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:52:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am sorry the local office has been so unhelpful (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau

            I am offended when I hear generalizations of government employees as drones or rude. I am not mean or rude to my customers and Imy fellow employees (save for a few grumpy old timers) are not either. I would suggest going over there head if they give you anymore trouble especially with the policy I have described for you.

            Being online I am able to vent my frustration and you would not hear me speak like this at the office. My action is this diary does not represent my attitude or action in the office.
            If we could tell what peoples intention or actions were in real life by the way they post online then I would think you were the type of person who hates ad belittles government employees, using stereotypes and hyperbole to describe us as flunkies. I don't think I am violating DBAD by pointing out your RW framing of public employees.

            For clarification of the school record policy I am linking a list of all acceptable ID documents by priority level.
            https://secure.ssa.gov/...

            Section C highlights age 18 and above, although they all discuss current school records as acceptable, we do accept older school documents to help establish the past identity of a person. We would use your old school records and other ID documents to ensure you are the same Joy that we have on our SSA records. As stated above as long as your dob, parents info, and place of birth match your old and new documents the name correction will be easily fixed.

            Make sure to use name correction and not name change because sometimes employees will get tunnel vision looking for a legal name change and gloss over the potential for an easy name correction.

            •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Achillios0311

              Husband has a day off later this week, so we'll make the journey to SSA. I am actually not expecting trouble this time because I won the appeal, thus they know all the names are mine. I will remember to use 'correction' instead of 'change', that's a very helpful hint.

              Let's face it - the fact that I HAD to appeal, based on flat refusal to accept those school records, means that workers at my regional SSA (at least 3 whom I've dealt with in person just in the past 9 months) were ignoring their own agency's rules as you have presented them here. Add to that the "You Do Not Exist" brush-off, and you as a conscientious government employee should be as pissed off as I've been. A whole lot of insult and injury over a period of years, for no apparent reason at all. That's really quite mystifying, don't you think?

              My nephew works for SSA in D.C. Wish I could just have gone through him, but we don't live there. He's a lawyer, like his father who spent his carreer in foreign service. General, now retired. BiL's idea was to get the State Department to issue a new FS-240 with name correction, but that's more expensive and more hassle (affadavits from friends and family, all duly notorized plus the fees) than just getting SSA to do it now that they can't refuse.

              There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

              by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:28:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  getting the new FS-240 (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laurel in CA, worldlotus

                could have helped but this whole experience should not have come at such a cost to you.

                It burns me to no end when co workers or others in my agency disregard policy or fail to examine all possible angles.

                Sometimes I chalk it up to inexperience, complacency, or just being human. This should not have been this complicated for you, for that I am sorry.

                I have my own issues with my agency, there seems to be a lot hidden from us line employees. We recently had 5 positions open up and obviously hundreds of applicants for promotion. Instead of honestly examining the best applicants SSA used the opportunity to promote 10 tele-service reps. Those 10 tele-service reps may have been promoted or may not have been but everyone knows they were selected because SSA is looking for a new building for the call center and will temporarily be housing the tele service center in an existing office which does not have room for all of them.

                So, employees who have faced increased budget cuts, an exponential increase workloads, and an ever growing loss of veteran employees are stuck in a lower level jobs instead of getting a fare shake at promotions because the promotions were used just to "make room".

                Shifting workloads to lower level employees is also happening in a focus to take more claims, appeals, and disability reviews. These GS-5-8 employees will be doing GS 9-11 workloads but won't see an increase in their salary. We just received a 1% raise (anything is nice) but have not been getting COLAs for the last 3 years.

                I also see trouble employees (rude, older, tenured) that instead of being let go are transferred or promoted to out of sight out of mind positions. Up and Out is the policy instead of trimming the fat and getting some eager young faces in.

                It upsets me that you seem to have found a few employees that are unwilling to do their job but just so you know there area couple of us in each office that would bend over backwards to see that you are satisfied and all your problems are taken care of. I hope you all the best!

  •  Could anyone give me advice? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Achillios0311

    I'm transgender and my birth state (Ohio) won't let me change my gender on my birth certificate, I don't think. Is that going to get me in trouble with my documentation?

    When the scribbling devil is got into a man's head, he falls to writing and publishing, which gets him as much fame as money, and as much money as fame. ~ Cervantes

    by scribblingTiresias on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:53:26 AM PST

    •  Do you have (0+ / 0-)

      You need a birth certificate to get an ID regardless of your gender.  If you want an ID that is different than your birth certificate says, that would only be possible if a state allows it.  There is no "help" you can get for that other than changing your state of residence.

    •  You will have no problem with SSA (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungeski, Laurel in CA, NWTerriD, bluedust

      SSA has a policy for changing the sex on your records in this exact scenario-
      https://secure.ssa.gov/...

      Accept any of the following:
      full-validity, 10-year U.S. passport with the new sex
      NOTE: Do not accept passports with less than ten years of validity.;
      State-issued amended BC with the new sex;
      court order directing legal recognition of change of sex;
      medical certification of appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition in the form of an original signed statement from a licensed physician (i.e., a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)). The statement must include the following:
      physician’s full name;
      medical license or certificate number;
      issuing state, country, or other jurisdiction of medical license or certificate;
      address and telephone number of the physician;
      language stating that the individual has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (male or female);
      language stating the physician has either treated the individual in relation to the individual’s change in gender or has reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the individual in relation to the individual’s change in gender and that the physician has a doctor/patient relationship with the individual;
      language stating “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct.”

      NOTE: See RM 10212.200C in this section for a sample letter from a licensed physician that includes all required information to certify to the individual’s gender change.
      IMPORTANT: Surgery is no longer required to change the sex field on the Numident. However, if an individual presents an original or certified letter from a physician stating the individual has undergone sexual reassignment surgery, accept it as evidence to change the sex field when it meets the requirements in GN 00301.030 and contains sufficient biographical data (e.g., name, date of birth) to clearly identify the individual.
      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 is OUTRAGEOUS! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RockyMtnLib, Joieau, worldlotus

    No one should be treated as you have been, joieau. My advice? Call, e-mail, write, or visit your Congressional representative. That's what they're there for--to help constituents with their problems. Publicize your plight so much through social media that the federal government will either have to fix your problem or completely lose credibility.

    The USA puts all these hoops in the way of voting--holding elections on Tuesdays, for Gawd's sake, not letting people vote by mail, and bla bla bla, and then the Powers wonder why turnout is so low.

    It's low because they like it like that.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 06:54:04 AM PST

  •  I do not understand this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, worldlotus

    Any congressional office worth its salt could easily remedy this.  

    Unbelievable.

    •  That's what I thought too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saucer1234

      But Shuler never did do much of anything for anybody. Could try the new guy, but he's even worse. Will take a day off and go to SSA again, hope for the best.

      Luckily, the new voter ID law doesn't go into full effect until 2016, though allowance for "challengers" at the polls - now they can be outsiders (fielded by the Party of ill repute) from anywhere, don't have to be registered at the precinct promises to make things exciting. If challenged, all I'll need is my registration card and/or a piece of mail. All this for a grand total of ~5 'fraudulent' votes (caused primarily by confusion) in the past couple of decades.

      Obviously, voter fraud is not a considerable issue. Or, not nearly as considerable as Diebold's glorified Etch-a-Sketch voting machines flipping votes. This is designed to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. A handful of Republican voters will end up disenfranchised too, but so long as they're flipping votes at will they aren't concerned about it.

      I always vote early, on paper ballot.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 09:13:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My address is what is a challenge for me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, worldlotus

    Our local mail delivery only goes a couple of blocks from the local post office which is less than a mile down the end of my street.  In order to get home delivery, my address has to use the name and zip of the next town 6 miles away.  This is a pain whenever I need to pick up a parcel or deal with any kind of signature delivery confirmation.  As such, we took out a PO box at the local post office over 30 years ago.  It's convenient and I drive by it to and from work everyday.  Whe the patriot act was passed, I could no longer use the p.o. box address.   Because the post office is so small and they know everyone, we started putting our street address but the town and zip of the local post office.  That worked great for a while.  Now everything is computerized so the address doesn't exist when anyone tries to look it up.  It is such a pain.  Fortunately my bank allows me to use the p.o. box as a mailing address.  I actually have both on my license but I know I'll run into problems when I renew it.  Fortunately we don't have voter ID as the town and zip on my license wouldn't match the address on my official voter registration.    

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 08:39:27 AM PST

    •  Yikes! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      Our Post Office changed our address three times since we've lived here, but we're still living in the same old place. And for awhile there the Area Codes for telephones were changing every couple of years, requiring new stationery and business cards every time. Thank god for cell phones, that number hasn't changed even once.

      A situation developed in the 2012 election when our 'new' gerrymandered district ran right down the middle of Main Street in Swannanoa. The students at the college there use the Post Office as their address, have done so for years. But the Post Office is now in a different district, so all the votes of the Swannanoa students were thrown out. Big lawsuit was required to set things right. Now the Teabagger legislature wants to prevent students from voting at all...

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:05:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My home and mailing address do not match, either, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Joieau

      but the State bureau can somehow deal with  this. My driver's license gives my home address, so it will allow me to vote in my precinct when the horrid law kicks in. Meanwhile, my license renewal notices etc. are sent to my mail-box address.

      Regarding the package-signature problem--that's why my mail box is not a USPS P.O. box, but a commercial store-front mail service. They are authorized to sign for my packages. (I realize there might not be such a business as conveniently located as your post office, though.)

      •  Actually the P.O. address works (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, UnionMade

        great for signature confirmations.  They just put a card in my p.o. box indicating that I have something to sign for so I take it to the desk and they get the item for me.  For large packages not requiring a signature, they have lockers.  You find the locker key in your p.o. box they you can get your package out.  

        “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

        by musiclady on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:09:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope you can work it out to vote in the 2014 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, worldlotus

    elections. I wish you better luck!

    The Paragraph: 'The trouble with the profit system has always been that it was highly unprofitable to most people.' – E.B. White

    by hungeski on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 09:27:01 AM PST

    •  Oh, I'll vote in both primary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungeski, worldlotus

      and general this year, no problem. It's 2016 and beyond that will require photo ID, I'm determined to have everything well straightened out by then!

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:06:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Problems with PHOTO ID and social security (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, worldlotus

    I had the same problem in Texas with getting a PHOTO ID. Texas DPS would not renew my license since due to the Patriot Act, there was a name mismatch between Texas and the social security database. I took time off work and went back and forth until finally Texas gave me a PHOTO ID.

    In Dallas County, they found 195,000 people with a mismatch of names on the voter rolls.
    http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/...

    Fighting Liberal at
    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” --Gandhi:

    by smokey545 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:11:45 PM PST

    •  One county in one state. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      There are probably many millions of hard-working, tax-paying, long-time voters in this country who have had their liberties severely impacted by the PATRIOT Act, many of whom don't even know it yet because they haven't yet had to obtain new documentation after a move or renew what they already have. The political party taking advantage of that in order to disenfranchise voters wholesale is just being opportunistic, as their own internal research has demonstrated that women and minorities are most likely to have these name discrepencies, and those demographics tend to vote liberally.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 03:21:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hurting women far more than men (0+ / 0-)

    By design!

    The Republicans know that women don't vote for them nearly as much as men, and they really don't like women voting at all, so they are doing everything they can to stop them.

    The ironic thing is that the "traditional" women who change their name when they get married are the ones hurt the most, while the more liberal ones tend to keep their names.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 07:58:17 AM PST

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