How to Replace a Lost Social Security Card
One of the most impactful laws that passed under President Theodore Roosevelt was The Social Security Act signed in 1935. The law was necessary following the great depression where millions of Americans had no jobs and nothing to rely on for income. To this day, Social Security is one of the main foundations of economic security that Americans rely on. The Social Security Agency is an independent body of the federal government that is responsible for administering Social Security, which is essentially a social insurance program that provides funds for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.
What is a Social Security Card?
A Social Security Card is a document that is proof of someone's Social Security Number. A Social Security Number is a 9 digit number that is assigned to U.S citizens. The card is usually assigned at birth and is one of a U.S citizen’s earliest documents second only to a birth certificate, when applying for a birth certificate there is a check-off option for a Social Security card as well.
The number allows the Social Security Agency to identify and accurately record your covered wages or self-employment earnings. A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, apply for student loans, collect Social Security benefits and get some other government services such as applying for a passport.
How to Replace a Social Security Card
The Social Security Administration has a policy of replacing Social Security Cards for free with a few limitations. You can replace three on an annual basis, and replace up to 10 cards over a lifetime. For this reason, you should always go directly through the Social Security Agency and not through a third-party website or service. Luckily the method for replacing a Social Security Card is fairly simple and can be done online, or in person.
Using the online replacement tool is available in most states except Alabama, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and West Virginia. You will need some documentation to prove your identity and citizenship when filling out the online application.
Replacing a Social Security Card In Person- If you are a born US Citizen you will only need two documents to get a replacement card. You will need to prove U.S citizenship, this can only be done with a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport. You will need to prove your identity, acceptable documents are a driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID.
If you a foreign-born US citizen you will also need two documents. The first is to prove your identity, this can be a U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, Certificate of Report of Birth or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
If you are not a citizen but need to replace a Social Security Card you will need a number of different documents. To prove your U.S. immigration status, you must provide your current U.S. immigration document.
In any case, you will also need to print and fill out a Social Security card application and bring it to the appointment with the necessary documentation as per your status. You will need to bring the original documents or a certified copy. To locate your nearest Social Security Administration office, use the agency’s online office locator tool.
What To Do When Your Social Security Card is Stolen?
You should always keep your Social Security to yourself giving it only to companies you trust. It is not suggested to walk around with your Social Security Card as it is can get lost or stolen and you usually do not have to present your Social Security Card to anyone on a daily basis. A Social Security number is a method of confirming your identity and is used in most cases of identity fraud in the US.
There are three main types of fraud people can commit when using someone else’s Social Security Number. The first is to open new payment cards using the victim’s name and ID. The second method is by using the Social Security Number combined with access to an email or phone of the victim and logging into their financial accounts. The third way is by using a Social Security number to file a fake tax return and take the reimbursements for themselves.
If you suspect your Social Security Number has been stolen by someone, you should take some steps to ensure you are not a victim of identity fraud.
The first step is to place a fraud alert with all of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion). They will then, in turn, inform you if someone tries to access your credit report and ask for verification. You should review your financial and credit reports to ensure nobody has transferred money or used your account without your knowledge. You should also report your stolen card to the IRS which can prevent fraudsters from filing a tax return in your name. The IRS also has a dedicated page to help with identity protection.
The fourth step to take is to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission in order to get an FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. This can help when submitting a police report or to counter false charged used on your account. Finally, you can file a police report. If you choose to do so, it is important to bring all the paperwork including a copy of the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit and any other proof of the theft. This will help you reclaim or counter lost funds in the event of identity theft.