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How to Replace a Lost Social Security Card

Debopriya Bose Feb 29, 2020
Social security card is an important document that is required for a number of processes in the US. However, the instances of these cards getting lost or being stolen are very high. In case you have lost or misplaced your card, read on.
Social security number is a nine digit number that is issued by the Social Security Administration, an independent agency of the U.S. government, to its citizens, permanent residents and certain temporary residents. The main aim of the social security number (SSN) is to identify individuals for the purpose of taxation.
However, over the years it has evolved to become the de facto national identification number. This number is issued to every citizen of the U.S. on a 'Social Security Card'. This card is an important document that helps an individual to avail a number of benefits pertinent to retirement, disability, and others. Here is some important information for you.

Replacing the Card

⇨ One has to download a form SS-5 from the Social Security Administration's official website. There is an instruction page that one has to follow in order to fill out the application form.
⇨ With the form completely filled, go to the Social Security Office and submit the form for approval. In order to locate the Social Security Office close by, go to the official website of the Social Security Administration and fill the area Zip Code one lives in. The Social Security Office in the area shows up on the subsequent page.
⇨ At the office, an individual will have to produce a proof of his citizenship and his identity.

Documents Required

While going to submit the SS-5 form, one will be required to produce proof of citizenship and identity. Although the Social Security Department may already have this information in its database, it is always prudent to carry these documents while going to the Social Security Office. Also remember that these documents have to be original.
The Social Security Office does not accept photocopies. The Social Security Office would have information on your citizenship in their files; however, it is best to carry the following documents to prove your citizenship.
Proof of Citizenship
The documents that the Social Security Office accepts are:
✓US birth certificate
✓US Passport
✓US Consular Report of Birth
✓Certificate of Citizenship
✓Certificate of Naturalization

Proof of Identity
Social Security Office accepts any of the following proofs of identity:
✓US Passport
✓US Driver's license
✓A state issued ID card
In case one does not have any of the above proofs of identity or in case of a delay in lost social security card replacement, the Social Security Office might ask for one's employer ID, a school ID, a U.S. military ID or a health insurance card.
For children, producing school ID card, school records or medical records would suffice. Ensure that the ID is a current one and has a recent photograph of yours. It should bear your name, date of birth or age.
Submit all the required documents with a correctly filled application form. Within 15 days, you should get the new social security card. Adults need to sign the card while children under 18 need not sign the card unless they get a job and are asked to provide the card to the employer.
The social Security Administration would demand your current U.S. immigration documents if you are a non-U.S. citizen, and if your Social Security Card is lost or stolen. They would ask you to submit the form 'I-551' and 'I-94' with your valid (non-expired) passport and/or your work permit card (I-766 or I-688B).
If your social security card is stolen or lost, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); as the thief can collect your personal information using your SSN and even apply for credit in your name. Keep a watch on your credit reports for any suspicious activity. Monitor your Social Security Record and check your income being reckoned correctly.
A person needs to be very careful with his Social Security Card, as it also serves as a proof of his nationality. Though one can apply for replacement for a lost social security card, it is important to remember that the card can be issued thrice in a year and only ten times in one's lifetime.