How to Replace a Social Security Card in
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It’s just one small blue, delicate piece of paper — but a lost or stolen Social Security card can create a lot of emotional and financial distress. If your card is missing, it’s imperative you take action immediately. Your card displays both your full name and Social Security number, and a criminal lurking in the shadows can wreak mayhem on your finances with just these two bits of information.
A lost or stolen Massachusetts, MA and Pittsfield Social Security card is all someone needs to open bank accounts, file bogus tax returns, acquire healthcare under your name, and much, much more. Suffice it to say, you should place your card in a safe place to stop accidental loss or theft.
However, things happen, even when we take the safest of precautions. If your card does go missing, here’s what you need to do.
Two measures you MUST take if you've lost or misplaced your Social Security card
1: Protect Your Finances
2: Get a Social Security Card Replacement
In addition to preventing identity theft, securing a replacement Social Security card is often needed for important activities such as:
1. Going to the Doctor
Generally, when you go to a doctor’s office, you will be asked to provide your social security card. Doctor’s offices use your social security number both for billing and insurance purposes, and to ensure that your medical information is not breached by unauthorized personnel.
2. Obtaining Employment
Nearly all employers will request you provide your Social Security card. Employers must use your social security number for wage reporting on W-2 forms. Additionally, your employer may use your social security number to confirm that you are able to legally work inside the U.S.
3. Using a Credit Card
If you are considering applying for a credit card, you will need to provide your card issuer with your social security number as well. This enables creditors to certify your credit worthiness.
4. Getting an Education
Colleges and Universities may also request your social security card. This aids them in determining if you are eligible to attend school in the U.S. and that you are indeed who you claim to be.
5. Opening a Bank Account
If you want to open an account from a financial institution, you’ll most likely be asked to furnish your social security card. Banks use the cards for a multitude of reasons, including confirming your identity in the event you forget your account number and substantiate your credit worthiness. Banks also need your social security number to report the interest your account accumulates to the Internal Revenue Service.
How easy is it to secure a new Massachusetts, MA and Pittsfield
Social Security card? It's as simple as 1, 2, 3!
Give your application to your local Social Security Office
After completing an SS-5 and assembling your essential documents you’ll need to submit them to your local Social Security Administration Office. This can be accomplished by either: Delivering documents in person or by sending documents via mail.
The good news is, the process is simple and quite rapid. It usually takes approximately 14 days from the time you disclose the loss to secure a new Massachusetts, MA and Pittsfield Social Security card. And to top it all off, replacing a lost or stolen Social Security card is free.
Note: If you are submitting this application under another person’s name, you will need to present evidence connecting you to this person. You can replace a lost or stolen Social Security card by beginning with a visit online, a trip to a Massachusetts, MA and Pittsfield Social Security office or a phone call.
If you go to your local Social Security office, you’ll need to bring identification — notably:
- A U.S. driver’s license
- A state-issued non-driver identification card, or
- A U.S. Passport
For a streamlined application process for all 3 of the steps outlined above click here.
Note the Social Security Administration dictates that all documents submitted to replace a stolen or misplaced Social Security card “must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.” The agency “cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.”
Securing a replacement Massachusetts, MA and Pittsfield Social Security card is only part of process.
Here are various other steps we recommend taking when your Social Security card goes missing.
Step 1. Initiate a fraud alert
This can be done by simply contacting one of the major 3 credit-reporting agencies. Upon requesting a fraud alert, the credit reporting agency will reach out to the other two agencies to advise them too.
Here’s the contact info for each agency.
Step 2. Examine your financial accounts and credit reports
Examine your credit card statements for suspicious activity and review your credit reports. “You are given one free credit report (from each agency) each year,” Campbell says — and you can get it at AnnualCreditReport.com. “Carefully review your report for any activity you did not authorize and report any fraudulent or inaccurate information to creditors.”
Step 3. Inform the IRS
If your Social Security card goes missing, it’s imperative to also inform the Internal Revenue Service. This can thwart criminals from filing a tax return under your name. The IRS has a beneficial website page on the topic, “Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection, and Victim Assistance,” that profiles the reporting procedure.
Step 4. File a report with the FTC
To bolster identity theft protection, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission, Campbell says. “The FTC collects complaints about identity theft from those whose identities have been stolen,” she explains.
Contact the FTC at 1-877-438-4338.
Step 5. File a police report
Next, it’s wise to report the stolen or lost Social Security card to your local Massachusetts, MA and Pittsfield police department. When you visit your local police station, deliver the proper paperwork, comprising a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit and any additional evidence of the theft. Fill out a report about the event and ask the police for a copy.
Swiftness is key when your Massachusetts, MA and Pittsfield Social Security card is lost or stolen. Rectify the situation by briefing the essential agencies, protecting your credit, and keeping I.D. thieves at a distance by obtaining a new Social Security card at once.