By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.

People coming to the United States for residential purposes get asked for a Social Security card (SSN) at the emergence. The purpose and usability of the card later get confronted with facts.

One would get this thought of paying a fair amount to get his or her SSN card. Fortunately, the US government is providing the card free of charge! Yes, it costs nothing. And the replacement of your Social Security card also costs no money at all. The job is done by providing the documents required to replace or a new one.    

Hence, you get your Social Security card with your unique Social Security number issued by the Social Security Administration within time without spending a buck. This card has a bunch of upper hands towards the owner of the card. Our today’s article is all about the misconception of the pricing of SSN cards and everything related to this.

So, let’s hop in to find out everything good about this mandatory citizenship paperwork, everything you need to know.

Social Security card

The Social Security card is the identification of your being a US citizen, permanent residence, and temporary residence. As per the law, every single person staying in the country for the long term has to have this. The card is provided to offer you certain facilities by the government. An SSN card comes with nine unique numbers. It was 1935 when the first Social Security number got issued by the Social Security Administration. And later on, the number was 25 million in the next three months!

Even if one has come to the USA to study, he or she will have to get an SSN card. this is proof for them that they are legally staying in this country for a legal purpose. That is also true for the persons holding a job here coming from other countries. However, this is not the national identity card, it is resourceful with a bunch of upper hands for a newly boarded citizen or native ones.

Social Security Number (SSN)

A number that uniquely presents a person among others in an area. A social security number is the identifier of your individuality.

The US government issues a nine-digit number for people living in the United States for any legal reason. The government provides this number to identify and get an absolute calculation over your earnings and ensures some inhabiting assistance. Also, this number will help pay the income tax to the government. we all know that we cannot live in any country rather than our motherland illegally.

This SSN is proof that the person is legally staying for any purpose. People who just came and started or we can say foreigner, living in the country may take it as their NID number. But this is not, it is the key to only the availability of the work permit and earning status. 

Types of Social Security card

The card is issued in three different categories by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Each of them features different activities that give you an identity in the community.

All three types of cards are discussed in the table below. We have taken all the latest information from the official public site of the SSA.

SSC Type-1SSC Type-2SSC Type-3
Issued to US Citizens only and individuals lawfully admitted on a permanent basisIssued to people lawfully admitted temporarily but gained their DHS authorization of workIssued to people lawfully admitted but do not receive work authorization from DHS
Shows your name and Social Security NumberShows name and SSN with restrictionShows name and SSN with restriction
Lets you work without restrictionValid for work only with DHS authorizationNot valid for employment

Type-3 SS card is issued to people who come from other countries, and federal law requires an SSN to get the service and benefit of the government.

Usability of the Card

This is one of the mandatory paperwork that one has to do in the USA. this will not only legalize the stay of the person in the United State but also offers tremendous benefits. Despite not being a national card or having your photo on it, it works more like a NID card for a person used in other countries/states.

This will help that person from one of the trending and dangerous cyber crimes, Identity theft. Dishonest people like a Hacker stole their identity to do crimes such as getting a credit card, withdrawing money from the bank, and so on. We have given below the most convenient usages of the card,

  • Opening and committing financial jobs or accounts with any US financial institution, the Social Security Number is needed
  • For certain public assistance and to avail government facilities, it is identity proof. 
  • Asking for a loan? It requires the SSN to prevent identity theft and other crimes.
  • To issue a driver’s license a person will need it for the assessment.
  • The income tax return takes the SSN to keep the record
  • Parents will need their child’s SSN to claim as a dependent on their tax return

Once the card is issued you will find it way too beneficial. Applying for a passport, enrolling in medical insurance, and every single activity in the USA needs that particular card.

 What if the card is stolen or lost?

The SS Card and SS Number are your identities as we mentioned. This unique number that leads you with the benefits can cause a disturbance if falls into wrong hands. one of the most dangerous crimes that can be done with this is Identity Theft. if that person does anything wrong, for every single activity, the person owning the card will be solely responsible. even if they did not participate in the crime, they will be at fault since all those activities carry the identity of the person on that card.

There is always a chance that one lost that tiny piece of hard paper. This eventually leads to a potential massive identity mess up to clean. You have certain to-do’s in case of losing it or are stolen somehow. These could be,

Claiming and securing your number accessing the ‘MY SSA’ profile at the Social Security website. This should be the first action after confirming that the card is missing.

Put in an application for the replacement of the card as soon as possible. This should take some necessary documents to show and submit. Contact your local police department and file a theft report providing the number of your SS card.

Even if the card is not lost or stolen, there are still some guidelines that one must follow regarding safekeeping.

You can also contact the Social Security Administration before the application for initiative information. Their contact number is 1-800-772-1213 and they will respond to you between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Social Security card replacement

This card is valid for a lifetime in the USA. As a citizen of the country, the Social Security card confirms security purposes with earning to living aspects. Therefore, it is as important as the individual’s identification.

So, if one loses their card or the card is stolen, the SSA offers the replacement of the card with valid reasons and conditions.

Since the card is a piece of paper and it cannot be laminated due to the condition of the administration, it tends to get affected with regular use and faces unusual incidents often. Therefore, they need to replace the card to restore the condition.

In certain circumstances, the replacement can be requested with three replacements annual in hand. Let the Social Security Administration know and request the replacement following the procedure.

Card Replacement Cost

The conception of paying for the replacement of the lost or stolen Social Security card has no ground. Replacement is also free of charge the way one gets a new one at no cost at all. 

Since the card is public property provided by the Federal Government of the USA to its fellow people, it is a sign of modesty and responsibility towards the nation made out of millions. Only the necessary documentation is required to complete the replacement application; after that a few days to arrive the new one.

So, the Social Security card replacement is free and it cost no money but the application at the right time.

How to Replace your Social Security Card?

Replacing the card is a simple task. People may think replacement makes a hassle over time. But, it is simple and if one has had their card for the first time everything provided is needed once again.

There is a more convincing way if they have the SSN. Only by providing the number, they can get it replaced in a few days. However the manual wholesome process is,

  1. Identify if you are eligible for the replacement application
  2. Fill up the SS-5 Form from the site of the SSA
  3. Gather all the documentation asked in the Form
  4. Submit the papers online (if applicable), through the mail, or in-person
  5. Elaborate on the detail for the replacement request on the application

I found them simple steps to complete the application for the replacement. Once the application and all the documents are submitted, it will take only a few days to receive a new one and the old one will be disabled.

Online replacement application

You can simply apply online for your card replacement using your My Social Security Account’. The procedure can be done yourself. You just need to submit the papers required for the course of the action.

If the person is 18+ of age or has already obtained a driving license or has other valid documents he or she can apply online to get the replacement of the lost or stolen card.

However, in case of updating or correcting information, it is not possible to submit an application online. Again a group of people is not allowed to for online application. Individuals with their ID issued by Alaska, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma, and some other parts of the State are not eligible for online application. SSA requires mail or in-person application on those particular cases.

Getting a new Social Security Card

The Social Security Administration allows you to request a new Social Security card in three different ways. You can ask for your card online, by mail, or in person.

Since it is one of the topmost identification for any average citizen of the USA, it takes some real authentic information. The application and the whole process would ask for documents you will need to provide. The documents are more likely,

  1. Papers of US citizenship
  2. Proof of your age and age certification
  3. Employee identification card (if on work)
  4. School card
  5. US military card
  6. Health insurance card
  7. Driving license or passport etc.

Submit the documents with the application to the SSA. After the completion of the documentation, SSA will let you know the way you selected to apply at the beginning. Usually, it takes 7 to 10 business days to deliver the card to the owner.

Application for your new Social Security card

An original Social Security card is a very important part of the USA government system. The application would combine all the information including the marriage certificate, birth certificate, driving license, and a few more documents.

This card will be valid for your lifetime earning and security assessment. You must provide a proper application with original documents or documents certified by custodians.  

Applying for a new SS card requires documents similar to the replacement ones. You will need to provide,

  1. Evidence of age
  2. Evidence of identity
  3. Evidence of US citizenship
  4. Evidence of immigration status

Filling out the SS-5 Form by the Social Security Administration submit all the documents. The card should arrive between 7-10 working days after the application.

How long to receive my card?

SSA effectively performs the application acceptance and tends to provide the card as early as possible. SSA currently takes 7 to 10 working days to deliver the card right after the day of application.

For a replacement card, you can expect a similar period to receive your card if applied with Form I-765 or the I-485. This may take a few more days and the return of your documents would take a couple of weeks or more due to high traffic. The standard delay would be somewhere 10-14 days with each replacement

How to change the name?

You might need to change the name on your Social Security card due to certain situations. A marriage occasion, divorce decree, order from a court or you may face some other occasions that require a change in the name for granted. To change the name on your card need to perform these step by step.

  1. Fill out the Form SS-5 with the necessary information
  2. Mail the Form or deliver it in-person
  3. Provide original copies of your documents.
  4. Tell in brief why you are about to change the name and provide documents
  5. Submit the original document of changing the name 

Once all the information is submitted to the SSA, they will analyze them and provide the selected name and the card. 

Spotting a fake Social Security card

There is a high chance of faking one’s SSN card with evil desire. This becomes easier with someone lost his or her card. The evildoers can make a fake copy using the number and make a suspicious job done with mess keeping the person unknown.

Luckily one can distinguish both the original and a fake Social Security card if one notices promptly. A few things to notice and find out to make sure if the card is genuine or fake. They are,

  • First, check the type of card. Then see if the name matches with other documents, like, a passport or driver’s license.
  • Check the security feature of the card. Try erasing the blue-tinted pattern through a rubber.
  • The paper used in the card should be banknote paper or currency paper. If not, the card may be a duplicate one.
  •  Check the Social Security Number and use the number to check if the card is up to date with the latest update.
  • If the card is proven to be a fake, report for the fraud and the violation of SSA.

Since the possible harm is undeniable once the number is faked, the owner can fall for some serious disaster if do not recover the card ASAP.

How to keep your card safe?

There is a great chance of theft with your card due to the lack of consciousness. Or, you may lose your card in any particular incident. Though it does not take much hassle to reclaim and replace the card the potential threat of messing up with personal information should be taken seriously.

You must keep your SS card safe on that extant. To keep your card safe from possible fatal incidents the steps mentioned below will come in handy.

  • Keep the card in a safe-lock and e-safe lock
  • Do not take out the card on every occasion
  • Keep it from dust and rain
  • It is not necessary to show the card whenever asked in particular
  • Note the SS Number for instant find outs
  • Provide the original card only when is required for a job, loan, or any government or residential purpose.
  • Once the card is lost take the necessary steps mentioned above as soon as possible

Keep in mind you will have the chance of the replacement only 10 times in a lifetime by officials.

Final words

A Social Security card is an important asset whether one is a permanent resident of the USA or not. It brings all the efforts together to help the people get the most out of Social Security Administration.

It is a matter of joy that the Federal Government of the USA does not cost a penny for that. But one thing to keep in mind, this card comes in a limited amount of time. After the expiry date, one can replace the card three times the utmost annually and 10 times for replacement for a lifetime. So, we suggest that one should limit the usage of their SS card and do not take it outside often.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is prohibited to laminate this card in any condition. Therefore, it takes high priority to preserve the card in a good condition.  

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