How to Apply for Social Security Number
In the United States, a Social Security number is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents under section 205 of the Social Security Act, codified as 42 U.S.C. § 405.
Whether you are in the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident or in the US on a work visa, you will need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) to work legally in the United States.
Meanwhile, your nine-digit Social Security Number is your first and continuous connection with social security. It helps to identify and accurately record your covered wages or self-employment earnings. Moreover, it is also used to monitor your record once you start getting social benefits.
Obtaining Social Security benefits can be a bonus to a person's retirement plan. Understanding what a Social Security Number is and how it is used can go a long way toward having a solid plan for the future. However, keep up reading to learn more about SSN. This article covers the basics of the Social Security Number, who is eligible, and how to apply.
What is the Social Security Number?
In the United States, a Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued to US citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents under section 205(c)(2) of the Social Security Act, codified as 42 U.S.C. § 405(c)(2). The number is issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration, an independent agency of the United States government.
Moreover, the SSN was originally used to track a person's earnings and determine benefits. Nowadays, it can be used for a wide variety of financial transactions. Such as opening a new bank account, tracking taxes, making large purchases, and building a credit history.
The SSN is issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration, an independent agency of the US government. Meanwhile, an SSN may be obtained by applying on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Number Card.
Why Do You Need a Social Security Number?
A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits, and get some other government services. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. Keep in mind that in many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. In most cases, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough. But if you do need a replacement, it is easy.
Eligibility Criteria for SSN
As long as you have lawful employment in the US, you must also have a Social Security Number. Therefore, if you are applying for a work visa or plan to work as a permanent resident. Then, you will also need to apply for your SSN.
Moreover, once you have a Social Security card, you can begin paying Social Security taxes and accruing work credits. If you reach a minimum of 40 work credits, you may be eligible to receive benefits. However, to do so, you must be over the age of 62 or disabled.
How to Apply for Social Security Number
Social Security Numbers are very essential to all United States citizens, permanent and temporary residents. Just like we said earlier, it allows them to have access to certain services. While there are a considerable amount of people who own an SSN. There are also individuals who don't have yet but are also individuals who don't have one yet but are close to getting one and have no idea how to apply for the SSN.
Moreover, if you are an immigrant, there are several ways you can go about applying for a Social Security Number. The easiest and most straightforward is to apply for your number while applying for your visa. However, due to recent changes in policy, you can apply for an SSN when you are applying for a green card from within the US (through the adjustment of the status process). Or when you are applying from outside the United States (through consular processing). We will be giving a brief discussion on each of the aforementioned processes.
Change of Status or Work Authorization
Due to recent changes in policy immigrants can now request their SSN while applying for their green card or while applying for work authorization. All you have to do is check "yes" when filling out Form I-485 or Form I-765 in the section where you will be asked if you would like to receive a Social Security card. Moreover, you must also give your consent to have your information sent to the SSA. Then, once the USCIS approves your application, the Social Security Administration will mail your card to you.
Applying From Abroad
Moreover, you can also request a Social Security card if you are applying for a visa in your country. You can do this while filling out Form DS-260. Similarly, as with Forms I-485 and I-765, all you need to do is answer "yes" when asked if you would like to receive a Social Security card. And also give your consent to have your information forwarded to the Social Security Administration.
Then, once your application is approved and you are admitted to the United States, you will receive the card in the mail within 3 weeks. However, if you do not receive your card in this timeframe, then you can go to the nearest Social Security office to inquire about the status of your SSN.
Applying With the SS5 Form
Another alternative if you did not request a Social Security card while applying for a visa is to apply directly with SSA. You will have to fill out an SS5 form, which requires the following documents:
- Evidence of Age: This can be a birth certificate, however, they may also accept a passport, adoption decree, or a religious record showing your age.
- Proof of Identity: You must provide your immigration documents and passport to meet this requirement.
- Evidence of Immigration Status: If you are a permanent resident, this will be either your Machine-Readable Immigrant Visa (MRIV) or a Form I-551. Although, depending on your situation, you may need to provide another document.
However, note that you can always go to your local Social Security office, where a representative can help you complete your SS5 form. You should receive a card within 2 weeks once you've submitted your application.
Moreover, here are some of the questions related to the Social Security and SS5 form.
How do I replace a lost or stolen card?
Replacing a stolen card involves the same steps as applying for the original one. Meanwhile, you will have to provide the following documents with Form SS5:
- Evidence of identity: this should be your passport
- Documents showing your lawful immigrant status, such as an MRIV (this will depend on your particular situation).
You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. Keep in mind that in many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. In most cases, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough.
Can I get an SSN even if I don't have permission to work?
No, you cannot get an SSN unless you are authorized to work in the US. But, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you need an SSN to receive federal or state benefits, for which you are eligible. Then, you may be able to obtain a card; as long as you can provide a letter from the relevant agency.
How much does it cost to apply for a Social Security number?
Applying for an SSN number and card is free. There is also no charge for a replacement Social Security card.
What should I do if my SSN is Stolen?
Just like we said above, you should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. Don't share your SSN with an unverified party. Contact the Social Security Administration if you suspect that your number is stolen and file a complaint with IdentityTheft.gov and the IRS. Your identity can be stolen if someone obtains your SSN. Which allows them to get medical treatment, obtain employment, open financial accounts, etc. Moreover, if you have problems with your credit, you must contact your financial institution and the credit reporting agencies. Get more details as we Guide you on the American Visa Sponsorship Programs Today.