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If you’re a citizen of the United States, you probably know your Social Security number by heart. Even if you’re a temporary or permanent resident whose birth country is not the United States, you, too, surely must be acquainted with the concept of Social Security.
However, for those who do not know, the US Social Security Administration issues all citizens and permanent residents of the United States a unique, nine-digit number. This is an important number that you will keep and use throughout your life, and it’s important that you safeguard it well.
Introduction to the Social Security Number
If you’re older than 18 and you’re planning to start a business or go to work in the US, then you need a Social Security card. The number on this card will track certain details about you. Additionally, you will use it to obtain Social Security benefits as well as other government benefits.
But how does one go about obtaining a Social Security card?
You can apply for one through an online portal. Alternatively, you can seek the help of an agency. If you already have a Social Security number, but you have lost your card, then you must apply for card replacement. Replacing lost cards can be a tedious task. However, there are agencies that can help you to get it more easily.
To obtain or replace your Social Security card, follow these simple steps:
- Log into the portal
- Complete the SS-5 form
- Submit all the necessary documents along with your application
You will receive your card within a week or two.
How to Safeguard Your Social Security Number
Keeping your Social Security number safe is as important as obtaining and safeguarding your Social Security card. Since your card has your unique nine-digit number on it, keep your Social Security card in a safe place. Never carry it with you, unless you know you’re going to have to show it to a bank or government official or an employer.
Here are a couple of tips to help you safeguard your Social Security number:
- Never reveal your Social Security number to strangers.
- You’ll need to present your Social Security card or share your number when you’re applying for a bank loan, a federal loan, or a government benefit. You’ll also need to do this when you’re applying for a passport or obtaining a driving license. However, be sure to return your Social Security card to a safe place afterward.
Your Social Security Number and Your Identity
As you probably realize, it is essential for you to safeguard your Social Security number. That’s because this number tracks many sensitive details about you. Therefore, revealing your Social Security number to the wrong people could cause you a great deal of trouble. That’s because a person who knows your Social Security number can track details about all of your financial dealings. This includes your entire credit history.
Governmental agencies, on the other hand, use your Social Security number for legitimate reasons. For example, they use it to track your wages. If you are a sole proprietor, you might use your Social Security number as an identifier for your business for tax purposes.
When you reach retirement age, the Social Security Administration will use your number to offer you Social Security benefits. Also, if you should become unable to work because of illness or injury, you could be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you safeguard your Social Security number as well as you possibly can.