Your social security number is a nine-digit number that gets issues to every U.S citizen, permanent and temporary residents.
Different countries have different names for their social security codes, such as the National Security Number in the UK and the Tax Identification Number in Australia.
Across the world, there are unique codes that are given out to citizens that are required in order to get a job or pay their taxes.
The purpose of the number was originally for the Social Security Administration to track individuals, however, it has also become the de-facto nation identification number for taxation.
You will receive a Social Security card that has your number on it, so you’ll have to make sure you keep it somewhere safe, like with all of your other important legal documents.
Most of the time simply knowing what your number is will be enough, but if you need to replace your card you will need to let the Office of Social Security Administrations know – luckily you are now able to apply for a replacement card online by visiting your My Social Security Account.
You should be able to receive a new card so long as you:
- Are a U.S citizen age 18 or older with a U.S mailing address.
- Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card
- Have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from one of the many participating states or the District of Columbia
Finding Your SSN Online
For security reasons, you cannot access your social security number online.
Although it might seem like a frustrating situation in this day and age, there really is no better way to keep your identity or information safe than to not put it online.
It is way too easy to hack into too many accounts for an online social security number to ever be secure online.
If you want to find your social security number, there are a few places where you might be able to find it.
Finding Your Social Security Number
If you happen to have lost your social security card and want to exhaust all other options before you apply for a new card, then there are some other places that you might be able to find it.
For example, you may be able to find your SSN on your tax returns, your W-2 forms, or even your bank statements. You might even be able to find it on previously filed USCIS forms.
If you’re sure that you are unable to find your social security number, then you might need to get online and create a Social Security Account.
Creating A Social Security Account
Step One: Visit the Social Security Sign In Page and click create an account.
Step Two: Read all of the information provided. This will tell you all of the info that you’ll need to have handy in order to set up the account. It also makes it very clear that this account will be for your own private and exclusive use.
Step Three: Next you will need to read the terms of service, and though it’s tempting to just tick it and move on like every other time, it may be useful to actually know what you’re agreeing to. However, if you really don’t want to, here’s a basic summary of what the terms of service say:
- You will never share your information with anyone or use anyone’s account that is not your own.
- You understand that the Social Security Administration uses a credit reporting agency to verify your information when you are opening this account.
In order to verify your information, they must make a soft inquiry on your credit report. This will not affect your credit score.
- Once you open an account, you will no longer receive a paper statement in the mail. Instead, you will receive an annual email that reminds you to log in and check your information.
Step Four: This section requires you to fill in and verify all of your personal information. This will include your name, birthdate, address, and phone number.
Counter-intuitively they may also ask you for your social security number, although there should be a workaround. At this point, you will also have the option to add extra security.
Step Five: Here you will be asked to answer some questions that have been generated to secure your identity. However, keep in mind that not all of these questions are specific to you!
By which I mean that it may ask you a question that isn’t relevant to your life, like about a mortgage that you never took out – if you don’t recognize the information given, click “none of the above” to avoid being caught out and needing to wait 24 hours before you can try again.
Step Six: Once everything has been verified, you will be free to create a username and password. Make sure that you make these unique and secure, in order to keep your information private and safe.
Once you have completed all of these steps you will have a social security account that will make it much easier to reapply for a social security card or get in contact with people that can help you find it.
There is no charge for a replacement social security card.
What Happens If Someone Steals Your SSN?
There are a couple of reasons why someone might steal your social security number, and these include applying for credit under your name or accessing other, more private or vital information.
If this happens, then you can need to contact the social security administration and get your number replaced immediately.