Is your Social Security card missing?
If so, you need to report the matter and apply for a replacement card as soon as possible.
Yes, it’s a bit of a pain, and, technically, not a particularly urgent matter if you know your SSN, but there are other reasons to apply as soon as possible.
Report the Loss for Security
Identity fraud is rife in the U.S. Your card might have dropped out of your wallet. Maybe some nice person picked it up and tried to find you to give it back, but it’s still sitting in their drawer somewhere.
However, it’s equally likely that the person who found or stole the card is going to use your personal information.
- Give your name and SSN if they’re arrested
- Open credit in your name
- Apply for work using your SSN
- Sell the information on to someone else
These are only a few of the way that the information on your card could be misused. Reporting the card as missing cannot prevent it from being used fraudulently, but it will lend credence to your claim that it was misused without your permission at a later stage.
Now You Can Start the Application Process
Once that’s taken care of, you can start the process. You’ll need to complete the necessary form and then submit it with the supporting documents.
The documents that you need to provide depends on the nature of your application, but most will require that you provide proof of identification and citizenship. One quirk of the system is that you’ll need to give different documentation for each of these.
So, for example, while your birth certificate can go towards proving your age and that you were born in the U.S., the SSA will use it for one or the other. Meaning that you’ll have to provide another document.
Completing the Application Form
There are a few different options here. You can visit the SSA website and see if you qualify to apply for a replacement online. In limited cases, this is possible and is the preferable option.
If you don’t qualify, you’ll need to complete the proper application form. There are two basic options here —find the form on the SSA site, download it and complete it, or find an application filing service to help you.
With the latter option, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions. This will help the company to complete the form for you. You’ll be asked to pay for this service and, once you do, they’ll provide you with the completed form and the requirements regarding supporting documents.
Filing the Application
Once the application is done, you’re on your own again. You need to submit the application along with the original documents, or certified copies of the same. The submission can be done by mail or in person.
Overall, getting a replacement SSC is easy if you know the right process. Unfortunately, making even a small mistake could lead to your application being declined.
If you are not sure about how to complete the form, or what documents you need, consider using a paid service to help you.