5 Reasons Why You Need a Social Security Card
One of the first things you typically own when you become an American citizen — whether by birth or through naturalization — is a social security card. Most people keep theirs throughout their lives — but why? What do you need it for?
Social security cards were originally created as proof of identification for the social security system. They provided the government with a means of tracking contributions to its retirement assistance program. Today, however, you need them for some of the most critical activities in your life. Here are five reasons why you need one:
1. Going to the Doctor
It is likely that if you go to a doctor’s office, you will be asked for your social security card. Doctor’s offices use your social security number both for billing and insurance purposes, and to make sure that your medical information is not used by unauthorized people.
2. Getting a Job
If you want to get a job, you’ll probably also need to show your social security card to your employer. Employers are required to use your social security number for wage reporting on W-2 forms. Your employer may also use your social security number to verify that you are eligible to work inside the United States.
3. Using a Credit Card
If you are thinking of applying for a credit card, you will need to provide your card issuer with your social security number as well. This lets creditors verify your credit worthiness.
4. Getting an Education
Colleges may also ask for your social security card. This helps them ensure that you are eligible to attend school in the United States and that you are who you say you are.
5. Opening a Bank Account
If you want to open a bank account, you’ll probably be asked for your social security card. Banks use the cards for a variety of purposes, including verifying your identity in case you forget your account number and verifying your credit worthiness. Banks also need your social security number to report the interest your account accrues to the IRS.
Because social security cards have become such an integral part of life, losing them can make it a lot harder to function in society. Fortunately, your local social security card office can help you with social security card replacement. You will need to bring proof of your identity (such as a driver’s license) and citizenship (such as a birth certificate or certificate of citizenship) and will have to fill out a replacement form to obtain a new card. However, replacements are free.