A social security card is a very important piece of paper. Every single person in the United States who is a citizen has been issued a social security number that is both unique and essential for many reasons. When a baby is born in the United States they are given a 9-digit number that is proof of identification.
A social security number is used by the government to keep track of all of your earnings throughout your lifetime. It also counts how many years you have worked. All of this contributes to how you are taxed and retirement benefits.
Losing or misplacing your social security card can be very stressful. Social security numbers and cards are a way that an identity thief can essentially pretend to be someone else. They can take your lost number and open up credit cards or other lines of credit and rack up a large amount of debt. A social security card paired with an address and name is one of the most valuable pieces of paper a thief can get their hands on.
If you have lost your social security card, luckily, there is a relatively straightforward process to replace it. The very first thing you want to do is notify the Social Security office. They will put a flag on your account. This will protect you from fraudulent behavior under your card. You will also want to check your credit report for any suspicious behavior.
After you have notified the Social Security office, you will need to go on to the social security website. On this website, you will find very clear instructions on how to replace your card. The Social Security office has recently made this process much easier. They allow you to request a replacement card online.
If you are a citizen of the United States that is over the age of 18 and has a US mailing address, are not requesting any type of change to card, and if you have a US issued driver’s license or state issued identification card from a state that participates in this service the process can be completed on the my Social Security account page.
However, if you state does not participate or if you do not meet another one of the requirements you must go to the Social Security office to apply for a new card. The first thing you will want to do is fill out the application found online for a replacement social security card.
Online, you will also be able to see which type of documents you must bring with you when you go to the Social Security office. Examples of these documents are a US driver’s license, a state issued ID card, and a US passport. If you do not have these documents or if you cannot replace these documents in 10 days the Social Security office will want to see a document that is current, has your name, has some sort of identification, and has a recent photograph. Some examples of these are: Employee ID card, School ID, or Health Insurance ID.
If your child’s social security card has been lost or stolen the process can be a bit more confusing. This is because a child does not normally have any state issued forms of identification. However, the social security office must be able to prove your child’s identification.
The first document the Social Security office will want to see is your child’s birth certificate. A birth certificate proves that your child was born in the United States and therefore is a US citizen.
You will also need to prove that your child has existed after their birth certificate. These documents include a religious document, a hospital birth record, or even a medical record from your insurance. These documents need to have your child’s name on them and any other information that will help identify them like their birth date, their parents’ name, and even a recent photograph.
If these documents do not have a picture of your child, the Social Security office will still accept them as long as they can clearly prove who your child is and who their parents are. Once you have either applied for your replacement Social Security Card either online at online-application.org or in person, a brand new social security card will be mailed to you. You will generally receive your social security card within 10 to 14 business days.
One thing that is important to note is that you cannot get unlimited replacement social security cards. United States Citizens are entitled to only 3 replacement social security cards in a ten-year period. However, if you have a name change or request any other change to your social security card this will not count against your 3-card limit.
It is never recommended to carry around your social security card. It is not like a driver’s license that should be in your wallet at all time. If your wallet was lost or stolen, your social security card could end up in the wrong hands. It is a good idea to keep your social security card in a very secure place. Some people keep their social security cards locked up in a fireproof safe.
If your social security number has been used to open up lines of credit fraudulently, the good news is these debts can almost always be erased or resolved. However, this process can be quite arduous. It is a good idea to get an expert involved who can navigate this efficiently and effectively.
If you still feel completely overwhelmed or lost in the process of replacing your social security card, it’s okay. Do not feel afraid to call your Social Security office to get some guidance or to have them answer any questions you may have. Or, there are many companies that can offer the help you need. Just be wary of who you hire as your social security number is very important.