What Is a Social Security Number

Today, a ביטוח לאומי אזור אישי number is more than just a 9-digit identifier. It is used to identify people for tax purposes, some credit applications and other activities that require a unique identifier.

During the registration period in 1936 and 1937, the SSA Board chose a combination of alphabetic and numeric characters because standard statistical machines already had the capacity to handle alphabetic symbols. Consequently, the initial area numbers did not reflect workers’ geographic areas.

Access to your record

A Social Security number (SSN) is more than just an ID. It is used to track earnings and determine the amount of retirement, survivors and disability benefits you can receive in the future. The SSN is also reported by your employer to the IRS so that taxes can be withheld from each paycheck. It is important to check the accuracy of your SSN record on a regular basis.

To obtain your personal my Social Security account, you must have basic personal information, including your name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your SSN. Then, you must create a username and password. Once you have an account, you can check the status of your application, request a replacement card, and estimate future benefits. You can also get your Benefit Verification Letter online.

If you want to prevent identity theft, consider locking your SSN through the my Social Security account. This feature protects your identity by placing a “lock” in E-Verify. If you lock your SSN, anyone who tries to use it for employment verification will receive an E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmation (mismatch). You can unlock your SSN anytime you like.

You can also use the my Social Security account to access your personal records through Electronic Records Express (ERX). This is a free service that allows you to send medical, school and other documents directly to your state’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) or Social Security.

Request a replacement card

If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement at any local SSA office. However, you are limited to three replacement cards per year and 10 in your lifetime. Changes in legal name or changes to immigration status don’t count against the limit.

The first step in requesting a replacement is to visit the SSA website or your nearest SSA office. Then, fill out the SS-5 form. You’ll need to provide your current address and a document that proves your identity.

You can use a passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identification card for this purpose. The SSA website also provides a list of acceptable documents. Applicants can also verify their identity with a credit report or by placing a fraud alert or security freeze on their credit files through Experian.

If you’re applying for a card on behalf of a minor, you need to provide the names and Social Security numbers (if available) for both parents. You can also check the box that indicates if you are a U.S. citizen, a legal alien allowed to work in the United States, or a legal alien not authorized to work. You’ll also need to fill out the month and date of your birth and the place where you were born.

Check the status of your application

A Social Security number is used as a personal identifier and to obtain credit, but they do not contain any biometrics and rely on documentation to prove their validity. This makes them susceptible to fraud and identity theft, especially as they are not a substitute for a driver’s license or passport. You can check the status of your application through a my Social Security account. You can also use your my Social Security account to request a replacement card, get instant benefits verification letters, and estimate future benefits.

Before randomization, the first three digits of a Social Security number, the area number, were assigned by geographical region. This did not necessarily mean the State in which the applicant lived, as applicants could apply for cards at any SSA office. Since 1972, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number has been assigned based on the ZIP code of the mailing address on the original application.

SSI/SSDI beneficiaries are often asked to show proof that they are receiving a benefit by means of a letter from SSA known as a budget letter, benefits letter, or proof of award letter. This can now be obtained instantly online through a my Social Security account.

Estimate future benefits

Many workers have erroneous expectations about their future benefits. Some believe that Social Security will cease to exist or that they won’t live long enough to receive benefits (5 percent) or that prospective changes such as raising the retirement age, means-testing, or increasing benefit reductions will prohibit them from receiving benefits (6 percent).

Others misunderstand Social Security’s current financial position. The trustees estimate that Social Security’s combined Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance trust funds will be depleted in 2034. Unless policymakers act, the program will then be able to pay three-fourths of scheduled benefits using only current income and reserves from payroll taxes.

SSA’s Statement and related information can help to correct these misconceptions by providing specific estimates of the retirement replacement rates individuals will receive under various scenarios. The PIA computed for each worker is indexed for price inflation over time, so it retains purchasing power even as a person’s career earnings decrease.

Several studies have explored heterogeneity in workers’ expectations about future Social Security benefits. Earlier ACLI surveys disaggregated by selected demographic and economic groups found that differences in expectations reflect differing beliefs about the survival of Social Security and different perceptions of its generosity should it survive. For example, Dominitz and Manski used a UAS module to examine the willingness of survey respondents to pay for increases in their lifetime annuity streams. Specifically, they asked respondents how much they would be willing to pay for an increase in their lifetime monthly benefit amounts.

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