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Father Sues SSA for Children's Benefits

Gay
Father Sues SSA for Children's Benefits

A disabled gay father from Florida is suing the Social Security Administration after waiting two years to receive assistance for his children. Gary Day, represented by Lambda Legal, claims that the government's unresponsiveness points to antigay discrimination.

A disabled gay father from Florida is suing the Social Security Administration after waiting two years to receive assistance for his children. Gary Day, represented by Lambda Legal, claims that the government's unresponsiveness points to antigay discrimination.

In February 2006, Day submitted his application for Child Insurance Benefits, along with birth certificates and court documents to show that he is the legal parent of the children. The SSA acknowledged receiving the application, saying it would respond within 45 days. After not corresponding for more than a year, Lambda Legal contacted the SSA on Day's behalf.

The office replied that there were unspecific "legal questions and policy issues" preventing Day's eligibility from being determined.

According to Lambda Legal, Day provided all the necessary documentation to establish a legitimate parent-child relationship and had fulfilled all of the SSA's prerequisites, adding, however, that the SSA had not fulfilled its duties by determining whether Day's children are entitled to Child Insurance Benefits.

"Asking a father to wait more than two 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," Beth Littrell, a Lambda Legal staff attorney based in Atlanta, said in a press release.

"As a parent, it is my job to provide for my children," Day said in a Lambda press release. "Unfortunately, the SSA, who is supposed to help during a time of need, is standing in the way." (The Advocate)

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