The Social Security program began with the Social Security Act of 1935. The nine digits assigned to an individual remains permanent for the rest of his/her life. The social security number is used to maintain a check on the individual's accounts. It is also used as an identification and authentication card for the citizens of America. You can apply for Social Security Number (SNN), when you start your first job. Under the Act, social security provides insurance for old age, disability and provides insurance to survivors. It also provides supplemental security income for the elderly or individuals with disabilities. The money for social security is raised from the taxes paid by the employers and employees as Social Security tax. Losing one's card spells a hassle for those trying to get a lost social security card replacement.
Social Security Card Replacement
The nine digits on your card are divided into the area code, group numbers and serial numbers. Any U.S. Citizen over 18 years of age, earning a steady income, is required to use SSN. It is mandatory and there are no exceptions. The social security numbers are not reused after the death of an individual. The number is removed from the active files and stored in the government database. It contains all the data regarding tax and credit information, school and medical records and other sensitive personal data of an individual.
The replacement is free and can be obtained from Social Security Administration. According to the rules, one can obtain a new social security number 3 times in a year. One can apply for 10 replacements during his or her lifetime. When the legal name or non-citizen status changes, these updates are not counted for the above limitations.
If you have all your proper original documents or copies certified by issuing authorities in place and know the proper procedure, getting a replacement will be very easy from the Social Security Administration. One should contact the local city, state and federal authorities immediately and let them know about the loss of the card. One must also inform the banks, credit card companies and other financial agencies and let them know you are in the process of getting a replacement.
In order to get a new one, you need to complete an application form for a social security card (Form SS-5). Along with the form, you need to provide certain documents that prove you are a US citizen or your immigration status and work eligibility as well as your identity. These documents include birth certificate, passport, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, drivers license and the number of your previous card. For the non-U.S. Citizens, the current U.S. immigration documents are required. The other documents that are accepted are Form I-551, which includes machine readable immigrant visa along with unexpired foreign passport, I-94 with unexpired foreign passport or work permit card (I-766 or I-688B). One can submit the documents by mail or deliver it personally to the local Social Security Administration.
Keep a Track of Your Account
Even if you secure a replacement for your lost card, there are chances someone can access your information. You should be very careful of possible identity theft, in case of lost card. Be sure no one accesses your personal information or uses it to acquire loans in your name. If you suspect an identity theft, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This will help you protect yourself, your finances as well as your entire family from identity theft. Keep a track of your credit reports to monitor any kind of suspicious activity. Also, make sure you have informed all your banks and other financial institutions about the SS card theft and replacement.
A replacement will be delivered to your mailing address within 7-10 working days. Do not carry the card with you, as you are not required to show the card often. Keep it in a safe place as it contains all your personal data along with your account information. Be careful with the new card and try not to lose it again.