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What is Social Security Number (SSN)?

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique nine-digit identifier the Social Security Administration (SSA) assigned to US citizens, permanent residents, and certain non-immigrants for tax and identification purposes. 

SSN tracks an individual’s earnings and contributions to the social security program, determining eligibility for various social security benefits, including retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Employers also use the SSN to report wages and taxes to the government and financial institutions to verify an individual’s identity for credit and loan applications.

How to Get Social Security Number?

To get a Social Security number (SSN) in the United States, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine if you are eligible: In general, you are eligible for an SSN if you are a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident with a Green Card, or have been authorized to work in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security.
  2. Gather the required documents: To apply for an SSN, you must provide certain documents to prove your identity, age, and citizenship or immigration status. The required documents may include your birth certificate, passport, and immigration documents (if applicable).
  3. Complete the application: You can apply for an SSN in person at your local Social Security office. You must complete the Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) and provide the required documents.
  4. Submit the application and documents: Once you have completed and gathered the required documents, you can submit them at your local Social Security office. You must provide original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency. The Social Security office will process your application and, if approved, issue you a Social Security number and card.

How to Change Your Social Security Number?

In the United States, changing your Social Security Number (SSN) is generally complicated and only available to some people. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may assign a new SSN in certain situations.

Some of the situations in which the SSA may issue a new SSN:

  1. Identity Theft: If you can prove that you have been a victim of identity theft and that the misuse of your current SSN has caused significant harm, the SSA may issue you a new SSN.
  2. Harassment or Abuse: If you can demonstrate that you have been the victim of ongoing harassment, abuse, or life endangerment and that changing your SSN would help alleviate the situation, the SSA may issue you a new SSN.
  3. Religious or Cultural Reasons: If you can demonstrate that your current SSN conflicts with your sincerely held religious or cultural beliefs and that you have been using the number in good faith, the SSA may issue you a new SSN.

To change your SSN, you will need to contact your local Social Security office and provide them with evidence to support your request. The evidence required will vary depending on the reason for the request.

Also, See: Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

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