Why Should I Replace My Childs Card
Technically, you dont need your childs Social Security card, but you do need the number for most things. Its not often anyone or any entity asks for proof of the physical card.
You will also need the number if you plan to open a bank account for your child, get him or her medical coverage, or add your child to your federal and state tax returns. However, there is a lifetime and yearly limit to replacing cards. You can replace your own and your childs card three times a year or ten times per lifetime.
Memorize your childs number to be safe so that even if the card is lost, youll be able to complete most documents. Remember, a Social Security card is a government document that should remain in your hands. Before you replace your child’s card, here are the immediate steps you need to take now to protect your child’s identity.
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What If My Social Security Card Was Stolen
If you’re replacing your Social Security card because it’s been stolen, there are several precautions you should take immediately to reduce your risk of identity theft. Your Social Security number is a very important piece of personally identifiable information that can be used to open new credit accounts in your name, among other things, if it falls into the wrong hands.
Protect Yourself Going Forward
Once you’ve followed all the steps to get your replacement Social Security card, it’s wise to take action to protect yourself. You may have received a new physical card, but your Social Security number will remain unchanged, and anyone who comes into possession of your old card can use it to commit fraud. This may mean staying diligent about what’s on your credit report for years to come.
The good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent your Social Security card from being used nefariously. In addition to taking steps to protect your identity, make sure your new card is stored safely and securely and only leaves your home or safety deposit box when absolutely necessary. Losing possession of your Social Security card can be a nerve-wracking experience, but you’ve got tools at your disposal to make sure it’s replaced quickly and your identity is protected for years to come.
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Place A Fraud Alert On Your Credit File
Contact any of the three major credit agencies Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. You only need to contact one of the three agencies because the one you contact will report the alert to all other agencies. This alert will last for 90 days but you can renew it if you still feel unsafe. The numbers for each are listed below.
Equifax: 1-888-766-0008Experian: 1-888-766-0008
Other Steps To Take After Losing A Social Security Card
Here are other actions you should take when your Social Security card has been lost or stolen.
Step 1. Place a fraud alert You should place a fraud alert on your credit file to protect yourself from identity theft.
You can do this easily by calling one of the three major credit-reporting agencies , says Danielle Kunkle, vice president at Boomer Benefits, in Fort Worth, Texas. Once you request a fraud alert, the credit reporting agency is obligated to contact the other two agencies to notify them as well.
Heres the contact info for each agency.
- Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
A fraud alert offers several benefits.
Step 4. File a report with the FTC To further protect yourself from identity fraud, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission, Campbell says. The FTC collects complaints about identity theft from those whose identities have been stolen, she says.
You can complete the online complaint form here. Or call the FTC at 1-877-438-4338 with as many details as possible.
Be sure to save the reference number and a printed copy of your FTC Identify Theft Affidavit, Campbell says. You can use this document to file a police report or to counter false credit charges made in your name.
Quickness counts when your Social Security card is lost or stolen. Set matters right by notifying the appropriate agencies, protecting your credit, and keeping I.D. fraudsters at arms length by getting a new Social Security card as soon as possible.
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How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify
While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:
Those who are currently retired
To people with disabilities
To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died
Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.
There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:
Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits
Replacements Arent Always Needed
Also, you should be aware of the fact that its not always that you need a card replacement. If you know your number, that may be enough for you in some cases. However, if you find yourself in a situation where a card is necessary, then you need a replacement, and applying online is very easy.
If you are one of the people who cannot apply online, you should go to a Social Security office instead. If you visit socialsecurity.gov, you can find the available locations. Luckily, there are over 1,300 offices for this purpose. If the office is too far away from you, its also possible to download the application and mail it. However, this is a little risky, because it is possible to get your identity stolen.
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What To Do If Your Social Security Card Was Lost Or Stolen
If your card is lost or stolen, then you need to act immediately to help protect yourself. As soon as you recognize that your card was stolen, you should file a report with your local police department. Notify the authorities so that they can begin working on finding the culprit, and that police report also serves as proof that your card really was stolen in case you need to work on repairing your credit later. A stolen Social Security card is typically more likely to cause you problems down the road, but a lost card can cause issues too. If you simply lost or misplaced your card, then you can skip this step and move on to the next one.
In addition to the police, you will want to go ahead and notify the Social Security Administration that your card is lost or stolen. You should go ahead and register for your MySocialSecurity account at SSA.gov also. This online portal allows you to request a replacement card, view your earnings statements, estimate your future benefits, and many more things. Make sure that you claim your account so that whoever has your SS card cannot claim it fraudulently.
What If I Can’t Apply For A Card Online
If you can’t apply for a Social Security card online, then you will need to show the required documents in person at your local SSA office. The documents needed will depend on your current citizenship status and your age.
Different documents are needed if you are an adult and a U.S.-born citizen, a foreign-born U.S. citizen, or a noncitizen. Also, if you are replacing a Social Security card for a child, you’ll want to check the SSA website to determine which documents you will need.
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How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
Report Your Lost Card To The Ssa
The Social Security Administration does not require you to report a lost Social Security card. However, if you want to report your card as lost and check that there hasnât been any fraudulent action that the SSA is aware of in relation to your lost card, you can call the main Social Security Administration service number for assistance.
The main toll-free phone number for the Social Security Administration is 1-800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hearing-impaired, you should use this number: TTY 1-800-325-0778. The Social Security Administration does not publish the phone number for your local social security office, and going to a social security office isnât necessary anyways.
Automated services from the Social Security Administration are available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These include recorded messages with information you might need and answers to common questions relating to your lost social security card. If you need to speak to a social security representative, they can be reached through the same number between 8 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.
Should I Be Worried About A Stolen Social Security Number
Your social security card is important, but it is the actual number that must be safeguarded. Thieves can gain access to your bank accounts and other private areas with nothing more than your birth date and your social security number. People can even use a Social Security number to gain access to your phone records and other devices, which basically gives them direct access to you.
Some of the worse case scenarios involve stolen Social Security cards that are later used to file fake tax returns. Not only will they deprive the actual owner of their money, but it can also cause hefty fines down the line.
Complete The Right Applicationa Form Ss
The Social Security Administration uses an application called the SS-5 for all new and replacement Social Security cards. Even if you move to another state, the application form itself, and the application process, does not change. The SSA is the issuing agency for this form, and will be the ones to review it.
Before you replace a lost, frayed, or existing card, youll need to fill out the SS-5 application. The SS-5 can also be used to apply for an original Social Security card or update information to an existing card.
To get a replacement Social Security card in Massachusetts, go online to the specific SSA website for the SS-5. You will notice the form says SS-5 and Social Security Administration in the upper left corner of all five pages.
Use only a black or blue ink pen to fill out the SS-5. You will begin with your legal name and fill out the information as requested.
Once youve completed the form, you will need to print it, then either mail it in, or take to your local Social Security office in Massachusetts and submit face-to-face. You do not need to access your Social Security account if you are on disability or retired.
Getting the SS-5 is one of the many SSA online services.
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Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
Guard Against Identity Theft First
Before you even start thinking about replacing your lost or stolen Social Security card, you need to take steps to protect yourself from identity theft.If your Social Security card has been lost or stolen, or if you suspect your Social Security number is being used illegally by someone else, the SSA and the Federal Trade Commission recommend that you take the following steps as soon as possible:
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Make Sure Your Information Is Accurate
This last step is easy to overlook, but its important you check in with SSA that your SS-5 application was completed successfully and processed correctly so your replacement Social Security is accurate and valid.
You can confirm the process went as planned by calling your local Massachusetts SSA office.
Keep in mind that the SS-5 is also useful if you want to update existing information attached to your Social Security number. The most common reason for updating is a name change.
When you receive your replacement Social Security card, the ID document you submitted will be returned to you.
All of these steps are simple and routine. The SSA processes thousands of applications for new and updated Social Security cards each day and have it down to a science.
If you download and fill out the correct form, provide the right ID, and mail or take your completed paperwork to the SSA, you will be well on your way to a replacement Social Security card. Last, dont forget to check in with SSA to ensure the information you gave was processed accurately.
Any questions about this process can be answered at .
How Do I Replace My Lost Or Stolen Social Security Card
You can replace your Social Security card online. According to the Social Security Administration, if youre only requesting a replacement card, and no other changes, you can use our free online services from anywhere. All you need to do is log in to or create your personal my Social Security account.
Once you receive your replacement card, dont put it in your purse or wallet. Keep it stored securely in a safety deposit box, or at home.
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Applying For A Social Security Replacement Card Especially Online Can Be Fairly Straightforward You Just Need The Right Documentation On Hand
It can be frustrating searching for your Social Security card, coming up empty and realizing you need to get a new one.
Even with the Social Security Administration offices mostly closed to the public right now because of COVID-19, getting a card replacement can be fairly straightforward. But you need to have the right documentation for the agency to issue you a new one.
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Get Ssa Benefits While Living Overseas
U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.
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Why You Might Not Want To Replace The Card
According to the Social Security Administration , it is far more important that you simply know your Social Security number than it is to actually carry your card with you.While you may need to know your Social Security number for filling out various applications, you are rarely required to actually show anyone your Social Security card. You do not even need your card when applying for Social Security benefits. In fact, if you carry your card with you, the more likely it is to be lost or stolen, greatly increasing your risk of becoming an identity theft victim.
If You Find That You Need To Replace Your Number Here Are Some Things You Must Consider:
- Getting a new Social Security number isnt easy. For starters, you have to prove that the theft of your number has caused you legal problems, bad credit, or denied loans.
- Having a new number doesnt automatically mean that your problems will just disappear. Your old number will continue to remain valid so youll have to continue monitoring it.
- A new Social Security number is like starting out with no credit at all, so youll have to work hard to build it again.
- The decision is completely up to the Social Security Administration. Even if you meet all of the above criteria, your application could be still be rejected.
If your case becomes so severe that you decide a new number is the only way you can solve the problem, then you will need to apply for a new number.
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