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5 Tips to applying for a social security card while on a budget

Monday, 12 February 2018 /

5 Tips to applying for a social security card while on a budget

Your social security number is a very important piece of personal information that you should always keep safe and secure. It’s arguably the single most important government-issued ID a US citizen can have. It’s a nine-digit number assigned to US citizens and residents. It’s an identifying piece of information issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to an individual. Its main purpose is for the government to be able to track persons for Social Security purposes.

Acquiring one is actually very easy and it’s free, there is no social security card fee. You just have to personally file an application for an SSN card to your nearest SSA office. Furthermore, here are 5 tips to applying for a social security card:

1. Know if you are eligible
Any US citizen and permanent citizen can apply for a social security number easily. For non US citizens applying to enter the United States, having an SSN card is important in your immigrant visa application. Moreso, a non US citizen must be a legally admitted permanent resident in order to become eligible for a social security number. Refugees, on the other hand, are not permitted to apply for social security number card.

2. Know why you need it
There are several occasions that would require you to present or show your social security number. You need it for employment, taxation, for personal and retirement benefits, and also for family benefits. Since its conception, Social Security has reached almost every American family and has extended its help in furthering the quality of life of US citizens.

As a citizen or permanent resident, it’s important to know that having social security is more than just getting retirement benefits when you’re old. Aside from senior citizens, other types of residents are eligible for social security benefits. Some of them are: disabled, divorced spouse of someone eligible for social security, and eligible dependents of a worker who died. So you see, several circumstances may entitle you to receiving social security benefits.

3. Bring the necessary documents
When applying for a social security number or a card, all you need to do it go your nearest SSA office and file for an an application. You will be asked to fill out a form and supply certain documents. The office would need proof of your US citizenship or immigration status, including your age and identity. For proof of citizenship, the office would accept your US birth certificate, US passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship. Non-US citizens looking to get a security number must supply his immigration documents.

4. Know what benefits you have
Having a social security number is just the beginning. As you work your way through your career and grow old, you become eligible to certain benefits covering your circumstance. The US Social Security system works to replace a fraction of your earnings when you retire, die, or become disabled. Your payment benefit depends on your earnings during your working career. Higher lifetime earnings usually result in higher benefits.

5. Keep you social security details confidential

Once you get your social security card, hide it and be careful with carrying it with you outside. Don’t just give out your social security number to unauthorized persons. The last thing you want to happen is for your identity to be stolen. A lot of identity thieves prey on people's SSN and good credit standing. They use it to apply credit under your name. Next thing you know you’ve got bills upon bills of purchases you're not aware of.