Social security is a program put in place by the federal government to provide a source of income to you or your legal dependents such as your children and spouse if you qualify for such benefits. You will get a nine-digit social security number that will be your link with social security. So, how, where and why should you get a social security card? We will discuss that below.
Why Do You Need One?
You will need a social security number to apply for any job. Also, you will need it to get your social security benefits and other government services that you may need. The card and the number are used to track all the earnings that you have had in your lifetime and work history to be used when you retire or when you need to get social security disability benefits, whereby they use that to see if you are eligible. Your social security number will also be used when you are opening a new account in a bank, applying for any federal loan, acquiring a passport, the filing of your tax returns and also for enrolling in Medicare. As we can see, this card is essential and will help us a lot in our future endeavors. The next step is to know how to acquire it and what you will need.
Applying For A Social Security Card
Getting a social security card is not complicated, it is straightforward, and often free of charge. If you have applied before and need to replace it since it was stolen, you will not be charged. It will only hold if you have not asked for a replacement at least three times in a year or ten times in your life. You can do this online if you meet these requirements:
- You are a legal citizen of the U.S and are at least 18 years of age.
- You have an ID issued to you by the government or a driver’s license from any of the states that have been listed on the Social Security website.
- You do not have a legal name change.
- You have a mailing address in the U.S.
If you find that you do not meet any of the above criteria, then you will have to apply for it in person and take the required documents with you. If you are not ordering a new social security card online, these are the things that you will need:
- Proof Of Citizenship.
You will need to have a birth certificate or a passport issued to you by the United States. These are the only proof that is acceptable if you want to replace your lost security card.
- Proof Of Age.
The Social Security Administration will often use your birth certificate to determine your age. If you do not have it, then the following might be allowed:
- Hospital records from your birth.
- A United States Passport.
- Religious records with your date of birth. They should, however, be from when you were around five years old or even younger.
- Proof Of Identity
Here, you will need certain documents that will prove your identity. They should be up to date and should also show your names in full, date of birth and a photograph of you. Some of the examples include the U.S passport, driver’s license and an identification card used by the state that you live in. If you are not able to provide any of these documents, then you can use other forms of identification such as:
- School I.D
- Employee I.D
- Health Assurance Card
- S –Issued Military I.D
Applying For An Original Social Security Card
The process of applying for the first time is different from that of replacing it. If you are over twelve years of age and has never had a social security number before, then you will be required to show up in person for an interview. Here, you will be asked to show evidence that will prove that you do not have a current number. One of the best ways of doing this is by using school and tax records to show that you had not been assigned a security number before. For those that have lived outside the country for an extended period, they will need to prove a long-term residence outside the United States in documents such as school records, passports, employment records.
What Happens To Non-Citizens Who Want To Apply?
The only noncitizens who are eligible to apply are those that work in the United States. It can be done in two ways:
- In The Home Country.
It is done when one is applying for an immigrant visa. It prevents an in-person visit to the Social Security Offices when the applicant arrives in the U.S.
- In Person When They Arrive.
If you decide to take this route, then you will need to prove your age, identity, passport and the clearance to work.
Getting A Social Security Number For Your Child
The easiest way to do this is in the hospital when the baby is born and when you have given the hospital all the information that they need for the birth certificate of the child. If you take your time and decide to do that later at the social security office, then you may experience some delays while they verify the birth certificate. It will take about two weeks to process it.
Once you have all the documents that you need, whether you are applying for a child, adult, citizen or a noncitizen, you will then need to complete an application for it and print it out. You should then find out where to take it in person or maybe mail it to make work easier.
Getting a Social Security Card is vital to secure you and your dependents’ future. It is therefore prudent to get one. With the above points, you are in safe hands when it comes to applying for a new or replaced card. Ensure that you keep it in a safe place to protect yourself from cases of identity theft.