Who Can Lawfully Request My Social Security Number
The dramatic rise in identity theft over the last several years has resulted in many changes to the list of people and businesses that are legally entitled to request a Social Security number .
Not long ago, people provided their Social Security numbers without a second thought. Criminals took advantage of that complacency, and as a result, the federal government established the Identity Theft Task Force in 2006. One of the first recommendations the task force made was decreasing the unnecessary use of Social Security numbers. Much work remains in overcoming old procedures and habits in this regard, but any progress on this issue is better than the status quo.
Who has the right to request your SSN? Federal law mandates that state Departments of Motor Vehicles, tax authorities, welfare offices, and other governmental agencies request your SS number as proof that you are who you claim to be. However, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires that government agencies at the local, state, and federal level disclose to each person whether submitting your Social Security number is required, details on the use of this information, and what law or authority requires its use.
Please note that this Act stipulates that no one can deny you a government service or benefit for failing to provide your SSN unless federal law specifically requires it.
You aren’t legally required to provide your SSN to businesses unless one of the following is true:
The Real Problem With Social Security Numbers
No matter that individual result, switching Social Security numbers is only putting a Band-Aid on a much larger problem: Social Security numbers themselves. The issue with Social Security numbers is that theyre used both as identifier and an authenticator. It effectively serves as both a user name, meaning people have to give it out with some frequency, and a password, meaning it also has to be kept safe. Social Security numbers have to simultaneously be secret and public.
Social Security numbers have to simultaneously be secret and public.
Some other form of government-sanctioned, universally administered, unique identifierone that doesnt also double as a kind of secret passwordwould likely go a long way with solving the security problems inherent in Social Security numbers.
Nevertheless, for victims who have long suffered at the hands of identity thieves, getting a new Social Security may be a good, albeit temporary, stop-gap solution.
To get a new Social Security number, applicants must apply in person at a Social Security office. Information about the process can be found here.
Editors note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Social Security Administrations User
The Social Security Administration web site provides clear and reader-friendly information: www.ssa.gov/ssnumber. All applications for SSNs, whether original, replacement, or for change of name or data, use the same form, the SS-5 form . The different purposes may occasion differing degrees of documentation.
Also Check: When Should You Apply For Social Security
Dispute All Incorrect Information On Credit Reports
Order a copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies.
You can get one free copy of each report annually from AnnualCreditReport.com. Or, contact the agencies individually to request a free report every 12 months.
Circle all incorrect or inaccurate items on your credit report.
Send a copy of this letter, along with copies of any supporting documentation directly to each credit agency by certified mail.
Supporting documentation can include reports filed with the police or the Federal Trade Commission.
Be specific in your dispute letter. Credit reporting agencies must investigate your claim. They usually respond within 30 days.
Why Does Cash App Ask For Social Security Number
Cash App as already pointed out allows users to create an account without necessarily having to verify who they are. In other words, users can create Cash App accounts with an identity thats not theirs and still be able to use Cash App. The problem with this is that the Cash App account created will be limited. The amount of money the account can send per day, per week, and even per month will be limited. Receiving money using the said Cash App account will also be limited.
To remove the limitations associated with a particular Cash App account, Cash App users ought to verify their account. Verifying an account with Cash App involves disclosing your Social Security Number . Keep in mind however that this is the only time Cash App will ask for SSN. In the event that a Cash App user receives such a request after verifying their account then chances are Cash App did not ask for it. Simply put, the person behind the request is not Cash App.
Recommended Reading: When Should You Apply For Social Security
Numbers Belonging To Or Used By More Than One Person
Although the SSA has a system set up to randomly assign unique numbers to each US citizen, one of the exceptions allowed is in the case that two people have or are using the same Social Security number. The latter is all too common according to a 2010 ID Analytics study. At that time some 40 million people, orone in seven of the numbers issued at the time, were used by more than one person.
Some could be due to clerical errors by companies or employees when filling out forms. However, it could be down to someone fraudulently using another persons Social Security number to commit fraud or illegally live and work in the US. To prevent identity theft the SSA recommends that you keep your Social Security Card in a safe and secure place.
Applying For A New Number Or Replacement Card
The SSA may assign a new Social Security number to you if you are being harassed, abused, or are in grave danger when using the original number, or if you can prove that someone has stolen your number and is using it. You must provide evidence that the number is being misused, and that the misuse is causing you significant continuing harm.
If you apply for a new Social Security number, you must prove
- your age
- your citizenship or lawful immigration status
- your identity
Getting a new Social Security number probably wont resolve all the problems related to the theft of your identity. Government agencies and some businesses may keep records under your original Social Security number. In addition, because credit reporting companies use Social Security numbers and other personal information to identify a persons credit file, using a new number doesnt guarantee a fresh start. But by being careful with your personal information and monitoring credit reports for fraudulent activity, you can limit the misuse.
The SSA lets you apply for an original Social Security number or a replacement Social Security card for free. The application form and information about the supporting documents you need to apply are available online. The form takes just a few minutes to complete. But that hasnt stopped some websites from claiming that the process is complicated, confusing, and time-consuming, and offering to do it for you for a fee.
Also Check: How To Decide When To Take Social Security
Getting A New Social Security Card
Obtaining a new Social Security card that reflects your new, married name isn’t difficult. There is no fee for the service, and you can find a blank application for requesting the change on the SSA’s website. You must take the application to a local Social Security office or mail it to the SSA, together with the necessary supporting documents. The supporting documents must all be originals or certified copies from the issuing agency, not photocopies. After processing your application, the SSA returns all original documents to you.
The SSA requires original documents proving your identity, your citizenship, and your name change in order to supply you with a new card. A certified copy of your marriage certificate should be sufficient to prove your name change. Acceptable documents showing proof of identity include your state-issued driver’s license or ID card or your U.S. passport. Your passport also proves your citizenship, as would your birth certificate showing that you had been born in the U.S. or your Certificate of Naturalization if you are a naturalized citizen.
If your marriage certificate doesn’t show your name change because you decided to take your spouse’s name at a later date, updating your Social Security card may require a court order permitting you to change your name legally. An online service provider can help you navigate this process.
Get help changing your legal name.
Cash App Asking For Ssn : 2021
While not all, many would-be Cash App users, as well as current Cash App users, are always intrigued by their request for their Social Security Number . Simply put, they wonder why Cash App needs their SNN. Some even wonder whether its possible to still send and receive money through Cash App without necessarily having to disclose their SNN.
Do I need a Social Security Number in order to use Cash App?
Yes, Cash App users who truly want to enjoy the services Cash App offers do need a Social Security Number. Cash App users can however use Cash App services without disclosing this detail. Here is what there is to know about Cash App and its requests for users SNN.
Cash App Asking For SSN : Why?
Visit The Local Ssa Office
Print out and bring your application and the original documents to your local SSA office. If you filled out the application online, the site will direct you to a page where you can find the closest SSA office in your area. You can also submit your application using an online form, provided you meet certain criteria outlined below.
If An Organization Asks For A Sin And It Is Not Legally Required
If you believe your SIN isn’t required, ask why it is being requested, how it will be used and with whom it will be shared.
If your SIN is not required by law, explain that you prefer not to provide it. Offer different proof of identity.
If the organization refuses to provide the product or service unless you provide your SIN, ask to speak to the person in charge. Many organizations don’t know about the appropriate uses of the SIN. Once they understand, they may willingly change their practices.
If you are not satisfied with the organization’s response, you may formally complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or 1-800-282-1376. There is no fee for making a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner.
You can also contact the organization’s industry association, ombudsman or complaint office. For example, the Canadian Marketing Association and the Canadian Banking Ombudsman handle customer complaints about their member companies.
For more information on laws about your privacy and the Government of Canada, visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Also Check: Social Security Benefits For Seniors
Youll Have To Notify The Irs
Most importantly, you have to contact the Internal Revenue Service and notify them of your new number before filing a new tax return.
To do so, visit your local IRS office to request this change.
Youll need to bring a copy of your new Social Security card and any official paperwork you receive from the Social Security Administration as additional proof, just in case.
Upon notification of the number change, the IRS will begin using your new Social Security number. The agency will also link your old tax records to this new number.
Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary
You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.
Read Also: How Do I Figure My Social Security Benefits
Make Payments To The Federal Government
Learn how to use Pay.gov to make secure, electronic payments to government agencies from your checking or savings account. You can use the online service for VA medical care copayments, U.S. district court tickets, U.S. Coast Guard merchant mariner user fee payments, and more.
If you need help, contact Pay.gov customer service.
My Employer Fired Me For Updating My Ssn What Can I Do
Under California Labor Code § 1024.6, your employer cannot fire, discriminate, retaliate, or take any adverse action against you if you update or try to update your personal information based on a lawful change of name, Social Security number, or federal employment authorization document.
Some examples of prohibited conduct by employers include:
- Firing an employee who attempts to update her Social Security number
- Demoting an employee who attempts to provide the employer with her new name
- Suspending an employee who attempts to update her Employment Authorization Document
If you feel that your employer has done any of the above, you can file a complaint with the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement . If the DLSE decides that your employer has committed such retaliation against you, your employer may face a penalty of up to $10,000 for each incident of retaliation or suspension of its business license for a period of time. For more information on how to file a complaint with DLSE, visit Your complaint must be filed within six months after your employers retaliation against you.
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If You Suspect Someone Is Using Your Sin
If you suspect that someone is using your SIN fraudulently, act quickly to prevent personal loss and minimize the negative impact.
Get The Best Identity Theft Protection Today
If you think youve been victimized after experiencing a lost or stolen Social Security card, or your Social Security number has been exposed by a data breach, we can help you take the steps to protect what matters most. IdentityForce can help monitor your identity and credit while providing you with the latest news and information in identity theft protection. Our Smart SSN Tracker alerts you if an unfamiliar name, alias, or address is associated with your SSN, and our experts will be there to assist you every step of the way. IdentityForces Identity Vault provides online encrypted storage for your important PII including SSNs, credit cards, financial account information and birth dates, along with other important documents. Access to online and mobile digital organization and storage of digital copies of important legal and personal documents, medical records, and other items.
Weve built best-in-class, innovative capabilities that continue to be named the best identity theft protection service throughout our industry. Additionally, our IdentityForce members receive full, white-glove restoration services to reduce the damaging effects of all types of fraud, theft, misuse, and unintended exposure of personal and financial data.
Let us show you how IdentityForce can help you manage through a compromised Social Security number incident. Get this exclusive limited-time offer today and save 20%.
**Originally published July 11, 2017. Updated April 14, 2021.**
Social Security Name Change Checklist
- Certificate of Naturalization with your new name
With these three proofs in hand, now its time to fill out your application.
2. Complete Form SS-5
No bureaucratic process would be complete without paperwork!
Form SS-5 is an application for a social security card.
Because you changed your name, you will need to apply for a new social security card.
You can download it online here.
Print out Form SS-5, fill it out, and sign it in your new name.
3. Mail your application in or take it to your local Social Security office
The last step to your social security name change is to submit your application.
Start by finding theclosest SSA office.
The nearest SSA office will appear.
You then have two choices. You can mail your application and documents to this SSA office, or you can visit in person.
We suggest that you visit in person if you can. That way, you dont have to mail in sensitive documents you may need before they return in the mail.
Youll also receive a receipt listing the details of your name changewhich means you can proceed to the next steps of your name change process that much sooner.
You will receive your new SSA card in the mail in approximately 10-14 business days, along with your documents if you mailed them in.
Your Social Security number will not change.
As an added bonus, the SSA will also notify the Internal Revenue Service about your name change. One less thing to worry about when tax season rolls around!
4. Be patient