Why is SSN your companion always

Why is SSN your companion always

The Social Security Number (SSN) and card issued is an important document which is with you throughout your life, and not just in your retirement. It is needed if you need any benefits (disability benefits, survivor benefits) or if you need a record of your earnings. Losing such an important document need not necessarily put you in a fix since ssa.gov lets you apply for your Social Security card replacement in a hassle free manner. This online facility is available for those living in the District of Columbia and some states (list available online), upon meeting the requirements.

If your Social Security card is stolen, right after placing a theft report, contact your local SSA (Social Security Authority) or visit their website to request a Social Security card replacement. Once your card is stolen, it can be misused as using your SSN; one can get other personal information about you and apply for a loan. To prevent theft, keep your card in a safe place and do not carry it with you.

Replacing your Social Security card involves simple steps:

  • Fill out form SS-5 (this same form is used to apply for a new card, request a replacement card and to correct information on the card).
  • Submit the same along with the required documents that prove your identity (e.g., Driver’s license. Complete list available on ssa.gov) at your local SSA office.
  • If all the requirements are met, the replaced card is usually delivered within ten days.

Note that the replacement card will have the same number and name as the original card unless requested for legal name change. There is no fee for replacement of your card, beware of schemers claiming to offer this service for a fee. The document provided must be current originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. These documents should show your name and other identifying information like date of birth or age. SSA has these measures to secure fraudulent usage of your SSN.