Do you want to get to know all about the Social Security Number (SSN)? If you are then interested, it will be of good if you continue reading this article because it has all you have been looking for. So first of all I am going to start with what the Social Security Number (SSN) is.
Social Security Number (SSN)
A Social Security number (SSN) is just a nine-digit number that the U.S. government issues to all U.S. citizens and even eligible U.S. residents who simply apply for one. The government uses this number to then simply keep track of your lifetime earnings and also the number of years worked.
When the time comes for you to then retire, or if you ever need to receive Social Security disability income, the government then simply uses the information about your contributions to the Social Security to be able to determine your eligibility and even also calculate your benefit payments.
Most people will even use the same Social Security number their entire lives, though some people might then simply need to apply for a replacement number at some point because of identity theft.
When & Also Why You Need Social Security Number
Anytime you then get hired for a new job, your employer will simply then ask for your Social Security number. Your employer’s accounting department will even also use this number to simply then report your income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and even also to report your Social Security wages to the Social Security Administration.
Your employer will even also use it for the state income tax reporting unless your state does not even have an income tax. Employers who simply then participate in E-Verify, a program to make sure employees can then legally work in the United States, also must then obtain your Social Security number before you can begin work.
Below are some of the other common scenarios where you will then need to provide your Social Security number.
When You are Opening an Account with Any U.S. Financial Institution
Since the year 1970, the federal government has then required banks to obtain customers’ Social Security numbers or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Financial institutions use your SSN to simply then check your credit, to then report your interest and also investment income or losses to the IRS, to report your tax-deductible mortgage interest to the IRS, and then also to manage your account.
As an alternative, some of the financial institutions will even accept a taxpayer identification number (on some forms, also called an Employer Identification Number or EIN), which you will then need to apply for through the IRS.
When You are Applying for a Federal Loan
The government will even also use your Social Security number to make sure that you are eligible when you apply for a federal loan, such as a federal student loan. For example, for you to qualify for federal student loans, you must then not be in default on another federal loan, you must also have eligible citizenship or visitor status, and even most male applicants must then have registered with the Selective Service.
When You are Applying for Certain Types of Public Assistance
Public assistance programs, such as unemployment benefits or Social Security disability income, are simply or usually managed by federal or state government agencies who then use Social Security numbers to simply identify people and also to make sure they are not claiming benefits that they are not even entitled to.
When You are Enrolling in Medicare
The Social Security Administration also even works with the Centers for Medicare and also Medicaid Services to simply enroll people in Medicare.
When You are Also Applying for a Passport
Federal law simply then requires you to provide a Social Security number if you then have one when you apply for a U.S. passport. If you do not have an SSN, you must then provide a sworn statement that you were never issued one.
On Your Tax Return
The IRS uses this number to simply then match the income you report on your tax return to the income your employer and also financial institutions report having paid to you. Also, you will even then need to provide your child’s SSN to be able to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return.
To Simply Get a Driver’s License
If you have an SSN, many states simply require that you have to then provide it when you apply for a driver’s license.
Non-citizens who do not have Social Security numbers are then exempt from providing a Social Security number in many situations that normally require it, including getting a driver’s license, registering for school, getting private health insurance, or even simply applying for public assistance such as subsidized housing.
The government does not even like to give Social Security numbers to non-citizens who are not authorized to work in the United States. It says that even the banks and credit companies usually cannot then require you to provide a Social Security number if you then do not have one.
However, without this number, the financial institutions will then not be able to run a credit check on you, which could then simply make it difficult, if not impossible, to get a credit card or loan.
When You Should Avoid Using Your (SSN)
Federal law basically lets anyone ask for your Social Security number, but that does not mean that you need to give it out. You should simply use your Social Security number as infrequently as possible. Just because someone asks for it does not then mean they truly need it.
For example, though most medical providers will simply just ask for your SSN, you can then leave the line asking for it blank when filling out medical paperwork, and often, no one will even question it.
Your doctor’s office and also other businesses can then use other information to simply identify you and also keep track of your records. That said, while you can even refuse to provide your SSN, the other party can then also refuse to do business with you.
Where Can I Find My Social Security Number?
If you then have a Social Security Number, you can simply then find it on your Social Security card. Some other places that you can also then find your SSN are on tax returns, W-2s and even also bank statements.
You might then even find it on previously filed USCIS forms. However, if you do not then have an SSN, you might generally answer “N/A” in the space provided on USCIS forms. Most individuals with nonimmigrant visas do not have Social Security numbers.
You might even also be able to recover your SSN from an employer. Employers generally keep Social Security information on file. Check with your employer to simply be able to obtain a copy of the number.
What Can Someone Do with Your Social Security Number?
Your SSN is also even one of the most important pieces of personal information—if not the most important—that you will even ever have. That’s why it’s very important that you keep it confidential. Someone who has your SSN can then simply use it to impersonate you, obtain credit and even also open bank accounts, apply for jobs, steal your tax refunds, get medical treatment, and then steal your government benefits.
What Should You Do if Your Social Security Number Is Stolen?
Identity thieves are simply just everywhere. Contact the Social Security Administration if you then suspect that your number is been stolen. The agency can then help you fix problems related to income.
If you then have problems with your credit, you must also then contact your financial institution and the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can even also file complaints with IdentityTheft.gov, the Internal Revenue Service, and also the Internet Crime Center to simply report any suspicious activity.
How Do You Get a New Social Security Number?
In order for you to get an SSN, you must then fill out form Form SS-5 and also then provide the SSA with two documents that simply then prove your age and also identity, and even your citizenship or immigration status.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Social Security Number?
The Social Security Administration then mails individuals their social security cards as soon as it receives all the necessary information and even also documentation. This can simply then take as long as two to four weeks, especially when the administration is facing delays.
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