Transgender 92-year-old widow denied Social Security survivor benefits

Fri. January 31, 2014 10:20 AM by

 92-year-old transgender World War II veteran and pilot has been denied Social Security survivor benefits.

Following the 2012 death of her husband Norwood Patton, Robina Asti filed for survivor benefits through the Social Security Administration. Administrators denied her request, saying that "her marriage does not meet the requires under federal law for payment of survivor benefits" because Asti was "legally male" at the time she married in 2004.

Asti transitioned in 1976 and is listed as a woman on numerous documents, including her passport.

Lambda Legal filed a request with the SSA to reconsider Asti's case in June and has yet to hear from the federal agency.

"I am so insulted that the Social Security Administration refused to recognize me as a woman and treated my marriage to Norwood in such a disrespectful way," Asti said in a statement. "I have lived a very private life, but the SSA is forcing me to speak out. I don't want other people to have to experience this."

In a video produced by Lambda Legal highlight the case, Asti talks about her life and marriage. 

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine