What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card
Now that you know the basics, lets take a deeper dive on what to do if you lose your Social Security card. To be sure, quick action is important.
If an individual loses their Social Security card, the first thing they should do is make sure they have claimed their My SSA profile at the Social Security My Account website, says Devin Carroll, founder of Social Security Intelligence, in Texarkana, Texas. Not only can you request a replacement card, you can also quickly check the accuracy of your annual earnings history, print benefits statements and change your address.
When you do reach out to the Social Security Administration to report and replace a lost card, know going in that the agency has a substantial to do list that needs to be completed before they’ll even accept your request for a new Social Security card.
The good news is that the Social Security Administration provides, free of charge, three card replacements on an annual basis, and 10 free cards in the course of an individuals lifetime.
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**Originally published July 11, 2017. Updated April 14, 2021.**
How To Request A Social Security Card Replacement
If all you need is a replacement Social Security card, with no other changes, you can simply request a new card online at the Social Security website. Youll need to be a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address and will have to supply information from a drivers license or state-issued identification card from a participating state or the District of Columbia.
Currently, every state but Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia participates in this program. If youre from Alaska, Delaware, and Wisconsin, note that Social Security will only accept a drivers license.
This service is not yet available to people whose drivers license or identification card was issued by a U.S. territory, such as Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Note that a new Social Security card can also be requested by filling out the application and returning it via mail to dropping it off at the local Social Security Administration office. Or applicants can go to the local Social Security Administration office and fill out an application there.
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Preventing Losses And Fraudulent Activity
It’s important to protect your Social Security debit card like you would any other credit or debit card or even your cash.
Keep your PIN safe, and don’t share it with others. If your Direct Express card is lost or stolen, you should report your missing card immediately by calling the customer service number on the back of the card, so it is wise to copy that number and keep it separate. Direct Express will replace your card so you can continue to access your account. The first replacement card each calendar year is free after that, theres a $4 fee to replace a missing card. Your replacement card should arrive in the mail within seven to 10 days.
You can have a replacement card expedited by request. The fee for this service is $13.50.
If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
Contact the authorizing agency directly to find out why they sent the payment. You may be able to find the authorizing agency in the memo line of the check. View this diagram of a sample Treasury check to help you locate the authorizing agency contact information on your own check. Scroll about half way down the page to see the diagram.
If you’re unable to find which agency authorized the payment, . They can help you determine which government agency you need to contact. To find which RFC you need to call, look for its city and state at the top center of the check.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitmate and issued by the government.
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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.
Required Documents For Social Security Card Replacement
The Social Security Administration website has information on acceptable forms of ID. However, it can be a little confusing, since different situations require different types of ID. So, were going to break it down for you. Keep in mind that any form of ID you use must be original, current, and unexpired. If you are a . . .
U.S. Born Adult
You will need a U.S. drivers license, state-issued ID card, or a U.S. passport when applying for a replacement Social Security card. If you do not have any of these, you may be able to use your employee or school ID, health insurance card, or U.S. military ID. In some cases, you may also need to prove your citizenship with a U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport.
If you have changed your name and need a corrected card, you must also provide appropriate proof of your name change, such as a:
- Court order approving the change
Foreign Born U.S. Adult Citizen
You have the same identification options as a U.S. born adult, but you are required to provide additional proof of citizenship. The SSA will accept any of the following documents with a Social Security card application:
- U.S. passport
- Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Certificate of Report of Birth
If you are not a U.S. citizen, but need a Social Security card, you will need to provide one of the following:
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You Can Apply For A Social Security Replacement Card By Mail
To apply for a new card through the mail, you will need to mail an application along with proof of your identity, such as a non-driver ID, drivers license or passport, to the Social Security Administration. These are primary evidence of your identity.
Right now the Social Security Administration is accepting secondary proofs of identity since going without a primary form of identification is a hardship for some. The types of secondary documents accepted include health insurance card , employee or school ID or a military identification card.
For the documentation to work, it must be current, show your name and birth date or age, and be an original or a certified copy. Social Security will return any documents you send them. The agency is experiencing slight delays for processing mail-in applications for a Social Security card. Because of that, it could take two to four weeks for your application to be processed and your documents returned.
Why Do I Need A Social Security Card
A Social Security card is a card presented to every American citizen, either upon birth or naturalization. While the original purpose of the card was to track individual accounts within the Social Security program, it has since become a de facto identifier for individuals within the United States. As an American citizen, youll need a Social Security card for many vital day-to-day tasks, including:
Visiting the Doctor: Most primary care physicians and hospitals will ask for your Social Security number before theyll see you for treatment.
Applying for a Credit Card: Credit card companies will use your Social Security number to verify employment and identity, as well as run a credit check on any past financial obligations you may have had.
Federal Financial Aid: Colleges and Universities will typically allow you to apply and enroll without a card. However, your financial aid options will be extremely limited, and none of the popular federal loan services will be available to you.
Gaining Lawful Employment: Many employers, especially public corporations, will be hesitant to hire you without a valid Social Security card. Youll need a card to receive Social Security benefits during your employment, as well as register for a tax ID number with the Internal Revenue Service.
How Can I Apply for my Card?
Here are the steps you must follow:
STEP ONE: Gather The Original Documentation
STEP TWO: Obtain The Proper Forms
STEP THREE: Apply For Your Card
Documentation For Us Citizens
For U.S. born citizens, you can either use your passport or your birth certificate. Proof of age will require either a hospital record of birth or a U.S. passport. Proof of identity will be a state issued ID, drivers license, or your passport. If you dont have any of these documents, you may use a card for health insurance, but thats not Medicare, a military ID card, employee ID card, or school ID.
If you still dont have any of these documents, you can have something current that shows your name, birth date, or age, and a recent photograph to prove identity. For children, the process is similar. However, the Social Security Administration wont accept a birth certificate for identity and instead documents will need to be a passport, doctor or hospital record, school ID card, or something with a photo that shows identifying information and the name. Parents applying for the card will also need to show proof of identity.
Simple And Fast Filing For Social Security Card
We provide online application assistance for the Social Security Card application, we help you avoid being rejected for possible mistakes in the application filing process. Our simple and easy application saves you frustration and hassle by reducing your time spent and possible expensive errors while completing your application. We provide you with the exact documents needed to accompany your application and depending on the package you select we can either provide you with a fully completed accurate application or provide you the complete package where you can do it all without a printer.We provide you with everything needed to correctly apply for the first time. Errors in the application can lead to stress and delay, let us ensure a simple and easy process.
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If You Requested An Ssn When You Applied For Your Visa
You can apply for your Social Security Card even before you land in the U.S. at the time of applying for your Green Card. This is usually recommended and is the best way to get an SSN as an outsider. When youre filling out Form DS-230, which is for the immigrant visa and alien registration, you need to agree to questions 33a and 33b.
33a confirms that youre requesting an SSN along with your Green card. The Department of State will coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security to provide you a unique SSN upon your arrival in the United States. 33b explicitly grants permission to both of those organizations to collect and request the relevant information. You should receive your SSN within three weeks of landing in the U.S.
Corrected Card For A Foreign Born Us Citizen Adult
If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order, or any other reason, you need to tell Social Security so that you can get a corrected card. If you are working, you also need to tell your employer. If you do not tell us when your name changes, it may:
- Prevent your wages from being posted correctly to your Social Security record, which may lower the amount of your future Social Security benefits.
- Cause delays when you file your taxes.
You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents must be current . We cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.
We may use one document for two purposes. For example, we may use your U.S. passport as proof of both citizenship and identity.
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Documentation For Citizens Born Abroad
For U.S. citizens that were born abroad, you can use your certification of report of birth, your U.S. passport, a certificate of citizenship, or your certificate of naturalization. To prove age, you can use your foreign passport and a document that is issued by the Department of Homeland Security that has your birth date or age listed on it. To prove your identity, you can use the same documents for citizens that were born in the U.S., which include a passport or drivers license.
For children born abroad, the process is similar, but the SSA will also accept documents that show the name of the child, identifying information of age, birth date and parents names, and a recent photo. Proof of identity for the parents is also required.
What Do I Do If My Social Security Card Or Number Is Stolen Or Lost
If your Social Security card or number is lost or stolen, you should immediately contact your local police department and the Social Security Administration to let them know about the incident. Once youve done that, there are a few other things that you can do to help mitigate the risks involved with losing your Social Security Card.
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Applying For Social Security Card
If you value your time and like to avoid unnecessary stress then our services are for you.We provide private online services utilizing our special software to customers who want to get a new card, replace or change the name on their Social Security Card. Your application will be ready for filing after you pay the service fee we charge.Depending on the package you choose we provide you with a complete package ready for filing to the Social Security Administration. The package includes a completed application, the specific and exact required documents for your unique case that must be submitted with the completed application. In addition, we provide the exact address to submit your completed application and documents as well as a pre-paid stamp you can print and use to send your documents to the closest social security office based on where your home address is.Once you submit your completed package following our instructions, you will receive your social security card by mail from the central social security card issuing center within 14 days. In addition, you will receive a separate envelope with your original submitted documents from the social security office processing center.
Who Is Eligible For The Social Security Debit Card
Anyone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits is eligible to use this card.
Because its a prepaid debit card, you can only use your Direct Express Social Security debit card if you have funds in your account. Once youve spent or withdrawn your entire account balance, youll have to wait for your next monthly disbursement to use your card again.
You cannot deposit personal funds onto the card. You must open a separate bank or prepaid card to deposit personal funds.
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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.
Original Card For A Noncitizen Child
In general, only noncitizens who have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security can apply for a Social Security number . If your child does not have permission to work but needs an SSN for other purposes, see “If your child does not have permission to work” for further information.
In some cases, we can assign your adopted child a number before the adoption is complete, but you may want to wait. Then, you can apply for the number using your child’s new name. If you want to claim your child for tax purposes while the adoption is still pending, contact the Internal Revenue Service for Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. For more information, see Social Security Numbers For Children .
Enumeration Beyond Entry
You may be eligible to apply using our automated process called Enumeration Beyond Entry if you are applying to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for work authorization or lawful permanent resident status.
If you are unable to use Form I-765 or Form I-485, you will need to contact your local Social Security field office. You should receive your SSN card within two weeks after we have everything we need to process your application, including verification of your immigration document with the USCIS. If we are unable to immediately verify your immigration document with the USCIS, it may take two additional weeks to receive your card.