Social Security Card

Social Security Card

All about Social Security Card – Since 1936, for the past 82 years, the Social Security Card and Social Security Number have been used by the U.S government.

Today, both are tokens of the Social Security Administration programs, known and used by almost all Americans.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the details related to this important document.

What is the Social Security Card

The Social Security Card or SSC, is a small piece of paper which contains the nine digit number, known as the Social Security Number.

The Social Security Number or SSN is a nine digit number assigned individually to each citizen at birth, if the parents so desire.

The parents usually choose to get a SSN for their newborn because they need it to claim their child as dependent on their income.

Besides that, the Social Security Number, and the Social Security Card, are a requirement when  finding a job and getting a bank account, among others.

The post “How to Open a “My Social Security” Account” covers this topic more deeply; it is worth checking out if you wish to learn more.

Therefore, the Social Security Card is nowadays, the almost universal document within the United States.

american social security system

A brief history of the design of the Social Security Card

The Social Security Number was first used in 1936, and therefore, so was the Social Security Card.

Back then, the SSC looked different, the Social Security Number was printed on it in red ink.

And, in the place of the stamp in red, found on today’s SSC, there was the Social Security Board seal in light blue.

The card has had 34 different versions to get it to what it is today.

Therefore, the Social Security Card used now is the thirty-fourth version of the SSN card .

How to Apply for a Security Number and Card

First, fill out an Application for a Social Security Card (ss-5)

After that, mail the application with your original documents or copies certified by the issuing agency. The documents must contain the following information:

  • S. citizenship or immigration status;
  • Age;
  • Identity.

Mail them to your local Social Security Office.

A personal interview will be scheduled for anyone older than 12 years old.

International students can also request a Social Security Number, but for them, further documentation is needed.

There is no cost for the Social Security Number or Social Security Card.

Types of Security Cards

The Social Security Administration issues three types of cards, each one for a different scenario.

The first type of card is the most common one, and it shows only the name and Social Number of its owner.

The first type of card is issued only for citizens and people lawfully admitted into the United States permanently.

The second kind of card also shows its owner’s name and Social Number, but also notes “Valid for work only with DHS authorization”.

This kind of card is issued only to people admitted into the U.S on a temporary basis and has authorization to work from the DHS ( Department of Homeland Security).

The third type of card includes one’s name, Social Number and notes “Not valid for employment”.

This card is issued only to people admitted into the U.S without DHS authorization to work but who require a SSN for legal reasons.

How to get your child a Social Security Card

You can apply for a Social Security Card for your child as soon as you apply for your baby’s birth certificate.

This makes things easier, since the agency that issues birth certificates will take care of all the details.

But, of course, you can do it later at any Social Security Office.

But in this case you will need to provide evidence of your child’s identity, U.S citizenship status and age.

Besides that, you will also need to show proof of your identity and proof of your relationship to the child.

The process can last up to 12 weeks plus the usual time it takes to issue a card.

In case you want to adopt a child, it is possible to assign a number to your child before the adoption is complete.

But you can wait and assign a number later, using your child’s new name.

Precautions regarding your Social Security Card

You Social Security Number is an important piece of information, and you should treat it as such.

The Social Security Number is tied to your taxes, employment, bank accounts and more.

Therefore, is not hard to realize that someone with you Social Security Number could do a lot of damage.

For that reason, you should keep your Social Security Card in a safe place and prevent strangers from accessing it.

Apart from that, losing your card could be a real headache.

Besides the problems already mentioned above, due to the fear of identity theft, the process of acquiring a new SSN is arduous and complicated.

As you can see, keeping your Social Security Card safe and secure is very important.

How immigrants can get a Social Security Card

Usually, it’s possible to get the number on the original immigration application .

To get a card, you need to prove your U.S immigration status.

In case you do not plan to get yours during the immigration process, it is possible to acquire it later.

Generally, you can only get a Social Security Card being an immigrant if you have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

To prove your immigration status you need to present one of the following forms:

  • I-551(Lawful Permanent Resident Card, Machine Readable Immigrant Visa);
  • I-766(Employment Authorization Document, EAD, work permit);
  • I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record).

If you are a student you can use the I-20 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).

Besides that, the government will want proof of your employment in the United States.

A letter from your supervisor should be enough and the letter should contain:

  • The starting date of your employment;
  • The number of hours you will be working.
  • Your supervisor’s name and phone number.

If you want more informations, go to https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber.

So, if you learn more about Social Security, click here.

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