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The Social Security Number Explained

What is a Social Security Number?

A social security number is an identifying number that all American citizens and emigrants should have. The first social security numbers were assigned in November 1936 solely as a way of tracking workers’ earnings so that the government could properly calculate and distribute workers’ social security benefits. However, the use of the number has grown significantly since then.

What is a Social Security Number Used For?

Today, the social security number is one of the primary proofs of identification individuals hold. A person’s social security number is still used to track his or her wages, but it is also used in a wide variety of other settings as well. People usually need to provide their social security number to their school, their employer, their doctor, their insurance companies and their bank. People often need their social security number to enroll for school, to get married, to fill out their children’s birth certificates, to buy a house and to sign a cable contract.

Social security numbers were never meant to be used as a proof of identity, but the trend caught on since having a single identifying number for each individual made checking peoples’ identity very easy.

What are the Benefits of Obtaining a Social Security Number?

Not only is a social security number almost necessary to conduct the day-to-day business of most adults in the United States, but it also allows people to sign up for social security, disability and Medicare benefits as well. Social security benefits can also assist survivors when a person dies.

When Do People Get a Social Security Number?

Most parents request social security numbers for their children soon after they are born. This allows parents to claim their children as dependents on their taxes, to take their children to the doctor and to enroll their children in school. It is possible for people to request a social security number at a later date; however, over 90 percent of American parents do choose to get their children a social security number at birth.

How do People Get a Social Security Number?

People can obtain a social security number by printing the appropriate documents from the Social Security Administration website and either mailing or taking them in to their local social security office. Once the Social Security office has a person’s information, they will usually mail out the person’s new social security card within a week or two.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Social Security Number?

Obtaining a social security number and card is free of charge. However, there is a limit to the number of times people can request a new card. For security reasons, people are limited to only three cards per calendar year and only ten cards throughout their lifetime. New card requests that result from a name change may not count towards this number.

Where Can People Find Additional Information Regarding Social Security Numbers?

People who need further information about social security numbers can find it on the social security website at socialsecurity.gov. This website has the forms and publications people need in order to get informed and apply for a social security number. People can also check their application status, read the latest social security updates and even search baby name listings all from this site.

Whether people are looking for information about how to get a social security number, how to change their name on their social security card or how to receive social security benefits as they age, they can find all of the information they need all in one place.

Sources:

http://socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/ss5.htm
http://ssa.gov