Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Where To Keep Your Social Security Card

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Replacement Card For A Foreign Born Us Child

How to Obtain a Social Security Card After Losing or Misplacing It | Quickly Building Your Credit

You can replace your child’s Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. However you may not need to get a replacement card, knowing your childâs Social Security number is what’s important. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during a lifetime. Legal name changes do not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.


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.

Dont Give It Out To Strangers

You should never provide your SSN to someone you dont know who calls you on the phone and requests it. This same warning applies to unsolicited emails and any forms you fill out on the internet. In general, dont give your SSN to anyone unless you are absolutely certain they have a reason and a right to have it.

Birth Certificate Or Passport

When you go out, its best to leave your birth certificate and passport at home.

Like your Social Security number, these items contain some vital, personally identifiable information, and losing these will make it all too easy for thieves to steal your identity, Bruemmer said.

Unfortunately, more than half of travelers surveyed by Experian said they carry their passports in their wallets. If youre traveling overseas, opt to leave your passport locked up in the hotel safe rather than keeping it with you while youre out on the town and risk getting scammed by clever thieves.

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Corrected Card For A Noncitizen Adult

If you change your name, become a U.S. citizen, or your immigration status or work authorization has changed, you need to tell Social Security so we can update our records and when necessary, issue a new card.

When you request a replacement or a corrected Social Security card, you must show us proof of your identity, immigration status and work authorization. In addition, if you need to change or correct any information on your Social Security card, you need to show us certain documents about the change. We can only accept certain documents.

Requesting A Social Security Card For Your Child


Children are prone to losing things and, unfortunately, to identity theft. In fact, our child identity theft research showed that 14 percent of kids have had their identities stolen, which is a concern of over 70 percent of U.S. parents. To get your child a new SS card after it has been lost or stolen, youll need documents proving:

  • Your childs identity
  • Your childs U.S. citizenship, or immigration status if theyre not a U.S. citizen
  • Your identity
  • Your custody of or relationship to the child

All of these documents must either be originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. Once youve collected all the necessary documents, complete an SS card application11 and mail it, along with the documents, to your local SSA office or card center.12 Within 10 business days from the date on the receipt, youll receive your childs new SS card.

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Use Plastic Page Slips

When storing your documents in a safe, youll want to protect them from any wear and tear or accidental spills. One way to do this is by using plastic page slips. Put documents in a plastic sleeve and then file in a binder or box. The binder can then go inside your safe. Each document should be in its own plastic page.

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.

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Things You Should Never Carry In Your Wallet

Sullivan says your Social Security card and any identification or documents that include your Social Security number are perfect examples of what not to keep in your wallet. Those nine digits could make it easier for a fraudster to open loans or credit card accounts in your name. A crook could also use your Social Security number to file a tax return and claim a refund. 2.

Ask Questions And Provide Social Security Number Alternatives

Social Security Cards Explained

When a person or company does request your SSN make sure you ask why it is needed. If you only need to prove identity or residency, you may have other options. Providing a driver’s license, utility bills, or a passport may suffice. Any of those options are less likely to compromise your personal information in the same way a stolen SSN can.

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Smart Places To Store Your Important Documents

Important documents we need them, but we cant always figure out where the best place to store them might be. Folders can get lost in the shuffle, and storing papers away in boxes in the far recesses of the closet isnt just a pain to dig out but also unsafe in the event of a fire. So what can you do?

When figuring out where to store your documents like your birth certificates, social security card, or even the deed to the house, try these 4 locations!

Safe-Deposit Box A good place to start when it comes to storing your important original documents is a bank safe-deposit box. Keep copies in your home if you need to refer to them and consider giving an additional copy to a trusted friend or relative.

Fireproof Safe If you feel more comfortable keeping everything at your home, buy a fireproof safe. It doesnt have to be large or expensive even a small one that fits under your bed will work great! Just make sure that your safe has at least a one-hour fire rating so that, in the event of a fire, your documents will be safer for a longer amount of time.

Accordion Folder A cheaper yet still effective method of protecting your documents is by storing them in a simple accordion folder. You can then store this folder in your file cabinets. Place your documents in a brightly colored accordion folder so you can locate it quickly and grab it all in case of an emergency.

How To Protect All Your Important Documents

More than likely, you have other important documents besides just a Social Security card. This could be a birth certificate, passport, or one of many other documents that you might need to protect and store. While laminating documents can sometimes be a good way to protect them, most of these documents should not be laminated. Here are a few tips for protecting them.

First, make sure that you keep them in a safe and secure location. Ideally, this would be your home, as other locations like a storage unit could be more subject to theft or damage. You might also consider a safe deposit box at your local bank. Keep the documents in a locked safe inside your home preferably one that is waterproof and fireproof. Do not carry these essential documents with you all the time, as this increases the likelihood of losing one and becoming subject to identity theft. Only remove these documents from storage when necessary for identity verification or some other purpose.

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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

Shred Mail And Documents With Personal Details

Social Security Numbers

Discarded mail and documents are a magnet for identity thieves. Dont just throw out papers that contain personal details such as your SSN. Get a paper shredder and use it on a regular basis. While youre at it, dont leave mail in an outside mailbox for long periods. Stealing mail is another way thieves can make off with your information.

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How To Replace A Social Security Card

If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, you can replace it for free through the Social Security Administration website, by visiting a local SSA office or through the mail. If you don’t need a card right away and you know your number, you may not want to go to the trouble, because you are not required to have an actual Social Security card.

You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime, but there are some exceptions. For example, if you have a legal name change, this does not count toward the limit neither do changes in immigration status that require card updates.

Corrected Card For A Foreign Born Us Citizen Child

If you legally change your child’s name because of adoption, court order or any other reason, you need to tell Social Security so that your child can get a corrected card. If your child is working, also tell your child’s employer. If you do not tell us when your child’s name changes, it may:

  • Delay your tax refund or your child’s refund and
  • Prevent your child’s wages from being posted correctly to your child’s Social Security record, which may lower the amount of your child’s future Social Security benefits.


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.

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3. How should I keep it safe? Treat your card no differently than a birth certificate, a social security card or a credit card. Put the original card away in a safe place, just like you would any important document. Avoid putting your card in your wallet or purse, because either could be stolen or misplaced.

Can I Replace My Social Security Card The Same Day


You can request a replacement Social Security card online the same day you gather your required documents. However, you will not receive your new card that day. Your new Social Security card will take some time to arrive in the mail. Same day replacements cannot be issued because your documents and application must be verified before the new card is issued in order to prevent identity theft.

If you require your Social Security card the same day, then you do have other options. You should complete your application for a replacement , and then visit your local Social Security office. The SSA office can review your application and issue you a receipt which serves as a temporary card on the same day.

While this temporary card will not suffice as an original document, it can be very helpful in a bind when you simply need to provide a copy of your Social Security card. You should also remember that the temporary card is only valid for 30 days, and it should be kept in a secure place. It is just as sensitive as your permanent card because it contains your SSN and other personal information.

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Tip : Create Strong Passwords

Strong passwords that use a unique combination of numbers, letters, and symbols can help prevent identity thieves from accessing your personal information in online accounts. Heres one password you should never use: your Social Security number. And dont use your SSNs last four digits as a PIN.

Finally, dont use the same passwords repeatedly. Even if its a strong password, and its one that you can easily remember, all a hacker has to do is crack that password once. The thief will then be able to access all your important accounts that are protected by that password, even ones that contain your Social Security number.

Can I Receive Medicaid And Social Security

It is possible for someone receiving Medicaid also to collect Social Security. However, each program has its own separate applications, separate requirements and will make its own eligibility decisions. In general, receiving SSI benefits will not affect your Medicaid eligibility.

However, SSD benefits, because they are typically higher payments, could affect your eligibility for Medicaid based on your individual states asset threshold. In other words, if you are receiving SSD benefits which put you over the minimum amount that your state permits for total assets, you might become ineligible for Medicaid. In some instances, Medicaid will require the individual to pay some of the monthly medical expenses out of the SSD money.

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How A Thief Can Use Your Social Security Number

An identity thief may wish to steal your Social Security number for a variety of reasons besides defrauding the SSA itself. For example, the thief may have a criminal record making it difficult for him or her to gain employment. Your SSN provides a way to apply for a job disguised as you. Alternatively, the thief may steal your SSN and use it to drain your bank accounts. Thus, he or she can avoid getting a job at all. A thief may also choose to use your SSN to do one or more of the following:

  • Open new bank accounts in your name.

  • Sign up for fraudulent credit cards.

  • Make purchases, including large items like automobiles and leave you with the debts.

  • Commit tax fraud.

  • Seek medical assistance.

If the identity thief is ever arrested and provides your Social Security number to law enforcement officials, you may also become entangled in extra legal problems. By posing as you, the thief may cause his or her crimes to show up on your personal criminal record. That may impede your progress if you ever seek a new job. If you get pulled over for a traffic stop, it may also cause police to detain you for an extended time period. All of these and more are excellent reasons to do everything you can to keep your Social Security number away from prying eyes. Here are some options for protecting it.

Tip : Rarely Share Your Number

Keep your important documents safe, handy with these tips ...

You may have to provide your Social Security number to your bank or employer. But theres no reason your pizza delivery guy needs it. If someone asks for your Social Security number, ask questions. Why? How will it be used? What if I refuse to share it?

You may be able to offer an alternative form of identification, such as a drivers license number, student ID, or utility bill.

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Keep Your Social Security Card In A Safe Place

Another way to keep your SSN safe is to protect your Social Security card. Keep it in a safe place, and make sure that place is not your wallet or purse. It is too easy for a thief to steal a purse or wallet. You might also easily lose your wallet or purse. Only carry your card with you when you need to bring it to a specific place for a certain purpose. For example, a new place of employment may require you to bring your card to work once. You may also occasionally need to present your Social Security card at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

How To Get A Replacement Social Security Card

To get a Social Security replacement card, visit the SSAs My Social Security account website. Youll be taken through the steps of requesting a replacement card. Keep in mind that you can use this online site to request a replacement card if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address
  • Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card and
  • Have a valid, current driver’s license or a state-issued identification card from most U.S. states or the District of Columbia. The following states are not currently eligible:
  • Alabama

    To apply for a replacement Social Security card, either online or via mail, you’ll need one acceptable personal identification document. By and large, your birth certificate will suffice, although the SSA will also accept the following proof of identity:

    • A U.S. hospital record of your birth.
    • A religious record indicating your date of birth .
    • A current valid U.S. passport.
    • A final adoption decree .

    There are several exceptions if you cant get the needed identification documents, or dont have them at all. The SSA will accept other forms of identification that show your legal name and biographical data. Acceptable options include a U.S. military I.D. card, a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, employee identity card, a certified copy of a medical record , a health insurance card, Medicaid card, or school identity card.

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