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Social Security Number (SSN) and Card Information

Poushali Ganguly May 12, 2019
Here is some useful information about Social Security Number and Cards.

What is Social Security Number(SSN)?

Social Security number is a nine-digit number that is issued to the citizens of United States who are permanent residents of the country and also to temporary or working people who live there. It is the most important number assigned to everyone in the U.S. irrespective of the fact that they work there or are permanent residents of the country.
The number is needed at most places; it is your identity as a U.S. citizen. It acts like identification number. To open a bank account, apply for a credit card, get a driver's license or get your car financed, you need a social security number. Social Security administration issues the Number and the offices of the former are in important cities, towns.
To get a Social Security Number you can go to the nearest office of Social Security Administration, in case you don't know the address, you can go online and find it out or you can also call their toll-free number that is 1-800-772-1213.
Documents to apply for original Social Security Number, with completed application form (Form SS-5) are:
  • Document to prove you have U.S. citizenship- birth certificate/ passport/ Certificate of Naturalization/ Certificate of Citizenship.
  • Document proving age-Birth certificate.
  • Id proof-driver's license/ passport.
So once you apply for a Social Security Number and submit all the documents, an interview would be conducted and the Social Security Card is issued.
The Social security Number is divided into three parts of three numbers each. The first three numbers are assigned by your geographical location based on the zip code of the place. The next two digits represent the group they belong to. This is not a significant piece of information that the U.S. government requires.
Though the base on which these two numbers differ is the ethnic background of the person though the theory is overlooked as an urban legend. The last four digits are the serial numbers that represent a numerical sequence of digits.

Needs of a Social Security Number

  • The main purpose is to track down a person's accounts with Social Security Program. It is a kind of identity for individuals residing in the U.S. Credit History, banking history, employee records; everything is recorded with reference to the Social Security Number. The military services also consider the social security number as the identification tool.
  • The U.S. government has started some of these benefit programs for Unemployed people, Retired senior citizens, Disability insurance, Prescription drug benefits, Supplemental Security check, Social Security check and others and to avail any of these citizens need to provide their Social Security Number.
  • To file taxes to the U.S. governments, citizens require their Social security Numbers.
  • Social security Number is required in case of Tax claims because whenever there is a change in the tax structure the money that you have already paid can be refunded.

Types of Social Security Numbers or Cards

There are three types of Social Security cards or numbers available:
  • Unrestricted Card, given to permanent U.S. residents and permanent citizens. There is no comment on the card and the people having this Social Security Card are free to any kind of legal work in the U.S. and can work for any firm in the country without taking any kind of permission.
  • Restricted Cards are given to temporary workers in the U.S. These cards can be divided into two types where one has statement written on it- Not Valid For Employmentand, the other reads Valid For work Only With Authorization. The former can't be used as proof of work authorization and latter can be used by the card holders as temporary work authorization.
  • Non-work card reads Not Valid For Employment.It is issued to people who need to avail of a benefit or a service to which a U.S. citizens can have access to.
Social Security Numbers should be kept very carefully because there are numerous cases of Identity theft which can be avoided by being a little careful.