Lost Your Social Security Card Need To Make Changes Here’s How
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Many people find they need to change or correct their Social Security information when they get married or divorced and change their names. Or they need a replacement Social Security card when they realize theyve lost their original one or it’s been stolen. Here is how to deal with either of those situations.
What’s Allowed In Your Legal Name Change
Your legal name is your first and last name only. The SSA will still print your middle name and suffix on your social security card if enough space is available.
Your name may only contain letters, spaces, hyphens, and apostrophes. Suffixes are okay. Omit your personal title, such as Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Esq., Sister, or Father.
Don’t use a nickname or abbreviation, such as Liz for Elizabeth or Deb for Deborah, unless it’s your actual legal name.
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
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Can I Rush My Application With The Ssa
Unfortunately, there is no way to put a rush on your application. If you need a card quickly, then your best bet is to submit your application online. Remember that you can make no other changes to make the request online, so your legal name must remain the same as no name changes are permitted through an online request. You must also have a current U.S. mailing address to complete your request online.
Submitting Your Application By Mail Or In Person
The final step is to submit the SS-5 form and your original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or card center, either by mail or in person. You can find the address online using the Social Security Administration’s Field Office Locator.
If you apply by mail, the office or center will mail your original documents back to you along with your new Social Security card.
One advantage of going in person is that you eliminate the possibility that sensitive or difficult-to-replace personal documents, such as your original birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport, will get lost or stolen in the mail. If you have any questions, you can also call that office beforehand and ask which documents you need to bring with you.
Generally, the Social Security Administration says, it will take two to four weeks to process your application and send you your card.
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How To Replace A Social Security Card In Minnesota
If you live in Minnesota is a four-step process that you can take care of in an hour or two.
If you are a United States Citizen, your Social Security card is one of the key documents youll use to show your citizenship and identify who you are. Along with your drivers license drivers license and birth certificate, your Social Security card is necessary if you want to have valid identification for a variety of purposes. All state-issued state ID cards as well, for citizens who dont drive.
The replacement card is completely free of charge and only requires completing a short application.
Getting A New Social Security Card After Marriage
If you are engaged to be married or have recently gotten married, this is an exciting time and a major life transition. In addition to celebrations with your new spouse, friends and family, youâll also need to consider some important practical and legal impacts of your marriage. One of these is the need to update your records with the SSA and ensure you have an up-to-date, accurate social security card.
If you change your name when you get married, youâll have to change the name on the social security card to reflect your new name. If you donât currently have a social security card, youâll have to request a new or replacement social security card reflecting your updated name. Figuring out how to get a new Social Security card after marriage or how to change your SS card after marriage can feel daunting, but donât worry.
In this article, weâll walk you through everything you need to know about handling your social security responsibilities and needs following a legal name change due to marriage.
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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.
Why Is It Important To Keep The Social Security Number Private
The information contained within the SSC, including the SSN, is sensitive in nature. Consider it as your tracking number. The IRS uses it for processing tax returns. Youre not supposed to disclose it and are not required to carry the card everywhere either.
This number can be easily misused if fallen into the wrong hands. It can be used to access your bank accounts, credit reports, and tax information without your consent. Therefore, treat the privacy of your SSN and SSC with the utmost care and never disclose it over the phone or email unless completely sure that youre dealing with the right people.
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Approach #2 Call The Social Security Administration
If killing time in a waiting room is not your idea of efficiency, you may want to consider making a simple phone call. In my past experience, Ive found that the Social Security Administration will change your address over the phone. This is easier than visiting your local office and waiting.
If you choose this route, heres a tip. Call your local office instead of the main Social Security line. In many cases this will cut the wait times in half.
You can find their number by visiting this link: Social Security Office Locator
Checking Your Application Status
If you apply online and everything is in order, you will receive a letter by mail with your SIN within 15 business days from the date your application was received. If it has been more than 15 days since you applied online, and you have not received a letter, please contact the SIN Program.
If you apply by mail and everything is in order, you will receive a letter by mail with your SIN within 25 business days from the date your application was received. If it has been more than 25 business days since you applied, and you have not received a letter, please contact the SIN Program.
If your online or mailed-in application did not meet the requirements, you will get a letter containing guidance on what is required to obtain a SIN.
My Social Security Online Portal
If you think going through this will be time-consuming, the good news is that the process of updating your SSN has gotten better and easier. You can use the online portal called My Social Security and request a replacement card as long as youre not asking to make any changes and simply need a replacement card. You can use the same login credentials that were provided to you.
While most states offer online SSC replacement, services are not provided in states like Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia. Additionally, if your SSN was issued by territories like American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, then youre not eligible for an online application and have to do it by physically visiting the office.
When Should You Report Your Change In Citizenship
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services advises waiting at least 10 days after your oath-taking ceremony before updating your records. But dont wait too long or it might slip your mind.
There are no penalties if you forget to report your change in citizenship. But remember that its for your own benefit. So make sure that you find time to do it at some point.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer and editor for the Victor Malca Law P.A. website and blog. She enjoys helping people in need with questions about social security disability and workers compensation law. She has a passion for helping those in need and the elderly with accurate legal information that can make a positive difference in their lives.
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Why Do You Need One
A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and get some other government services. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. Keep in mind that in many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. In most cases, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough. But if you do need a replacement, we make it easy.
If You Did Not Request An Ssn When You Applied For Your Visa
If, for whatever reason, you chose not to apply for an SSN at the time of filing Form DS-230, then you can still get an SSN after coming to the United States. Youre required to an SSN office with your visa, passport, and permanent resident card. It should get processed within two weeks. If youre planning to move to a new location, then notify the authorities accordingly.
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How To Update Your Social Security Record After Becoming A Citizen
Congratulations on becoming a US citizen! Now youll finally get to avail of the benefits reserved solely for citizens of this country. But its not yet the end of your immigration journey.
Along with your change in immigration status is the need to update your records in various other government agencies. This includes your social security records.
Updating your social security records after becoming a citizen can be summarized in four steps:
Updating your citizenship status may not warrant a replacement of your social security card. But if there are other restrictions in your SSA card, you may request a replacement online or from the SSA staff handling your case.
You May Be Able To Apply For A Replacement Card Online
You can use a to apply for a replacement Social Security card online if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address
- Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card and
- Have a drivers license or state-issued identification card from one of the many participating states or the District of Columbia.
If your drivers license or state-issued identification card was issued by one of the states listed below, this service is not yet available. If your state appears on this list, please check back. We are working to make this service available to additional states.
- West Virginia
This service is also not yet available if your drivers license or identification card was issued by a U.S. territory .
If you are a U.S. citizen, and have not gotten a replacement Social Security card or name change recently, you may not be eligible to use the online replacement card application inmySocial Security.
If you dont have a mySocial Security account, you can create one today. To set up your account, go to:
If you do not qualify to apply online for a card, please follow the instructions in the next section.
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How Can I Get A Copy Of My Ss Card Fast
The quickest way to get a replacement card is to complete your application online and submit your verification through your Social Security account. If you simply need a copy, then you can submit your application in person and get a printed receipt which will act as a temporary card. However, note that the temporary card is not considered an original.
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
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Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.
How Long Is The Wait For A Replacement Social Security Card
The wait can range from a couple of weeks to 6 weeks or more depending on the method used to submit your application. Submitting online is the quickest way, and it usually takes 10-14 days to receive your replacement. If you need something immediately, you can visit your local office in person and obtain a printed receipt which will act as a temporary card. Mailing your application is the slowest way, and it can take 6 weeks or more to receive your new card.
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Maybe You Don’t Need Id
It may be possible to use your name change document as ID. This offers the convenience of mailing your application without surrendering your driver’s license, passport, etc.
This works by making sure your document:
Review the primary ID options if your name change document doesn’t qualify as ID.
1. Is recently established
You’ve crossed the biggest hurdle if your name change event took place within the past two years.
There’s no name change deadline. But waiting too long increases your burdenmailing ID and awaiting its return. Even then, alternative ID options exist.
2. Shows biographical information
Your name change document mustand shouldshow biographical data matching your current social security record:
- Parents’ names
Any of the above three details work, but nothing else.
3. Matches your current name on file
Your name change document must mention the name on your current social security card. So, were your name Jane Doe before changing, your document must show likewise.
What To Do If Your Social Security Card Is Lost Or Stolen
The first thing you should do if your card is stolen is report it to the local police. Identity theft is a real concern, and you should notify the local authorities immediately. Your next steps would be the same whether your card was stolen or simply lost. Having your Social Security card find its way into the wrong hands could have extremely negative consequences for you and your financial future. Not only can people open new credit in your name, but they can also use your information to file fraudulent tax returns with the IRS.
You should immediately place a fraud alert on your Social Security number with the major credit bureaus. This makes the agencies aware that your number may be compromised, and they can take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. In addition, you can even go so far as to place a lock on your credit so that no new credit can be opened without specific verification steps.
Lastly, you should obtain a copy of your credit report and examine it for anything that looks suspicious. Make sure that you review your report frequently so that you can take immediate action should anything show up that you did not initiate. It would be a good idea to sign up for a credit monitoring service so that you can be notified any time there is a change to your report.
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