When Can My Child Get a Social Security Card?

The Social Security card was invented by the US government in 1936. This is because it was the first-time taxes were to be collected.  It also created benefits for those 65 and older who no longer worked. Today, a Social Security card is even more important. A Social Security card is an essential part of life for all citizens of the United States. This nine-digit card is what the government uses to keep track of your employment earnings and the number of years you have worked.

Your Social Security Card is necessary for many things. Every time you apply to open a bank account at a US bank, you must present your Social Security number.  This is because the institution will want to check your credit score, they are also required to report any losses or gains to the IRS.

You will also need a Social Security card to apply for a loan that is federally backed. This included federal student loans. This ensures that you are in fact a citizen and that you have good enough credit to not be in default on other loans.

The government also requires a Social Security card if you need assistance. These government assistance plans are designed to help people in need. These programs, such as unemployment and welfare, require a Social Security number in order to ensure you are who you say you are and that you are not claiming benefits that do not qualify for.

A Social Security number is used if you want to leave the country and need a passport. There are ways around this, but to receive and qualify for a passport you will definitely want that SSN.

When filing your taxes, you need your Social Security number as well as all dependent’s Social Security number. This allows the IRS to be able to match your earnings with the earning that were reported to them by your employer. Sometimes the process of getting a Social Security card can seem arduous and confusing.  Especially for parents. But getting a Social Security card for your newborn is definitely something you want to consider.

Children are eligible to get a Social Security card at birth.  In fact, it is probably the easiest time to apply for a Social Security card. This is because when you are getting your child’s birth certificate at the hospital, you can also apply for a Social Security number. When you fill out your child’s birth certificate request there is a question on the form that asks if you would like to apply for a Social Security number at the same time. If you would like to do this, just simply mark the “yes” box and provide both mom and dad’s Social Security numbers.

While it is not mandatory to get your child a Social Security card at birth, it is much easier to do it at the hospital rather than later at a Social Security office. Social Security offices are known for long lines and for being slow.

However, if you choose to get your child’s Social Security number later, here are the steps you must take.

First, complete the application for your child’s Social Security number. It may be easier to find the application online and fill it out completely before going to your local Social Security office.  The application will give you instructions on what documentation you need.

You must provide proof that your child is a US citizen. You can do this by providing your baby’s birth certificate. If you do not have a birth certificate for your child you may use a Certificate of Naturalization. If for some reason your child does not have a birth certificate and was born in the United States the office may allow you to use a Religious record or perhaps a record of your hospitalization.

After you provide all of the required documentation, the Social Security office will mail you your child’s Social Security card within 10 business days. If you need this expedited for some reason, make sure to tell the office and they can work with you.  The process of getting a Social Security card can feel especially complicated if your child was adopted. But, by learning the process, it is actually a fairly easy task. In fact, you can apply for a Social Security card for your adopted child before the adoption is final. However, it may make more sense for you to wait until it is final.

To do this you apply for a number with your child’s new name and your name as parents. If you are worried about whether you can still claim your child as a dependent during this process you can contact the Social Security office directly for more information.

The good news is receiving a Social Security number is free of charge. All citizens are able to apply and receive this service. However, if you lose your child’s Social Security card you will have to pay a small fee for a replacement.  It is essential that you keep your child’s Social Security card it a safe a secure place. Social Security cards can be replaced, but only 2 times per lifetime. However, if you have a name change or some other qualifying event you may get a replacement without it counting against you.

It is recommended to never carry your child’s Social Security card with you. This is because it is much easier to lose or misplace. Also, if your wallet gets stolen with your Social Security card will get stolen with it. If this happens you will need to worry about identity theft and will definitely want to contact the Social Security office as soon as possible.

The bottom line is a Social Security card is a very important document for everyone in your family. Your children are eligible for one as newborns and it is very easy to obtain when applying for a birth certificate. Remember to always keep your child’s social security cards in a safe place.