To help combat the rising threat of fraud and identity theft, Social Security will no longer issue Social Security number printouts beginning this month. If you need written confirmation of your Social Security number — perhaps your new employer needs verification — and you can’t find your Social Security card, you can apply for a replacement.
But do you really need a replacement? In most cases, you don’t need your card as long as you know your number. For all intents and purposes, your number is your card. Usually providing your number and identifying information is enough.
In the event you really do want or need a replacement card, either for yourself or for a child, you can find all of the details you need here. The “Social Security Number and Card” page provides information on how to obtain a replacement card and what specific documents you need to provide.
Need a Social Security card for your new baby to claim him or her as a dependent on your tax return or to apply for government or social service benefits? In most cases, an application for your newborn’s Social Security card and number is taken in the hospital when you apply for your baby’s birth certificate. If not, you can request one for your child the same way you do for yourself.
Whether you need a Social Security card for your-self or your child, it’s easy — and free — to apply for one. But consider whether a new Social Security card is really in the cards for you. It may be that your “card” is already with you — in your head.
While you’re at our website, open your free my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. It can help you plan for retirement, check your earnings history, request your Social Security Statement and more.
Learn more about your Social Security card and number at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is the public affairs specialist for the Social Security Administration in Hawai‘i.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question: What is a Social Security “credit?”
Answer: During your working years, earnings covered by Social Security are posted to your record. You earn Social Security credits based on those earnings. The amount of earnings needed for one credit rises as average earnings levels rise. In 2014, you receive one credit for each $1,200 of earnings. You can earn up to a maximum of four credits a year. Most people will need 40 credits (or 10 years of work) to be eligible for retirement benefits. Learn more by reading the online publication How You Earn Credits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
Question: When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, who is eligible for survivors benefits?
Answer: Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:
- Widows or widowers — unreduced benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60;
- Disabled widows or widowers — as early as age 50;
- Widows or widowers at any age if they take care of the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits;
- Unmarried children under age 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending secondary school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren and grandchildren;
- Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled; and
- Dependent parents age 62 or older.
Even if you are divorced, you still may qualify for survivors benefits. For more information, go to www.socialsecurity.gov.