Get, Replace, or Correct a Social Security Card
The Social Security Administration issues Social Security cards to:
- U.S. citizens
- Permanent Residents
- Noncitizens who work in the U.S.
See how you can get a Social Security card corrected or replaced. Find out how to get one for your new baby.
What is a Social Security Card?
Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You'll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.
When you apply for a Social Security number (SSN), the Social Security Administration (SSA) will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.
How To Get a Social Security Card
- Gather your documents. Learn what documents you'll need to get a card. Select your situation:
- Adult or child
- Original, replacement, or corrected card
- U.S. born citizen, foreign-born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
- Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
Getting a Social Security Number for a New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Prevent Identity Theft
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.
Social Security and How It Works
Social Security provides you with a source of income when you retire or if you cant work due to a disability. It can also support your legal dependents (spouse, children, or parents) with benefits in the event of your death.
Whats Social Security?
Social Security is a program run by the federal government. The program works by using taxes paid into a trust fund to provide benefits to people who are eligible. Youll need a Social Security number when you apply for a job.
Find how to apply for a Social Security number or to replace your Social Security card.
How do benefits work, and how can I qualify?
While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:
- Those who are currently retired
- To people with disabilities
- To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died
Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration (SSA) offers.
There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:
- Retirement benefits
- Disability benefits
- Benefits for spouses or other survivors of a family member who's passed
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
How to Open a my Social Security account
If you receive or will receive Social Security benefits, you may want to open a "my Social Security" account. This online account is a service from the SSA that allows you to keep track of and manage your SSA benefits. You can also make changes to your Social Security record.
How to Find More Help
If you have specific questions about your Social Security benefits, you can:
- Review the Social Security Administrations frequently asked questions.
- Contact the Social Security Administration directly.
Government Checks and Payments
Find out how to report your lost, missing, stolen, or expired government check. Andlearn why you received a check or direct deposit payment and how to make a payment to the government.
Lost or StolenFederal Payments
Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal checkto the agency that issued the payment. It's usually one of thesepaying agencies.If your documentation indicates it's a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.
To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury DepartmentPhiladelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.
If You're Not Sure Why You Received a Payment
If you receivea check or direct deposit payment from the Treasury Department and do not know what its for, contact the regional financial center (RFC) that issuedit. Only the agency that authorized the paymentcan explain why you received it.
If you received a check, look for the RFCs city and state at the top center. Then contact that RFC to find out which federal agency authorized the payment. It will be one of these:
- Philadelphia RFC
- Kansas City RFC
If you receivedpayment by electronic funds transfer (EFT), ordirect deposit, follow the directions under Find Information About a Payment.
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that the check is legitimate and issued by the government.
Make Payments to the Federal Government
Learn how to use Pay.gov to make secure, electronic payments to government agencies from your checking or savings account. You can use the online service for VA medical care copayments, U.S. Coast Guard merchant marinerfee payments, and more.
If you need help, contact Pay.gov customer service.
Report the Death of a Social Security or Medicare Beneficiary
You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.
How to Report a Death to Social Security
To report a death:
- Provide the deceased person's Social Security number to the funeral director so they can report the death to the SSA.
- Contact your local Social Security office. Or, call SSA's main number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make the report.
How to Stop Social Security Check Payments
The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August (which is payment for July) must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA's Survivors Benefits page to learn more.
Social Security Benefits for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income may help financially. To find out if youre eligible for either program, use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.
Definition of Disability
To qualify for either program, you must meet SSAs definition of disability:
- Youre unable to do substantial gainful activity (work)
- Your disability is expected to last for at least one year or result in death
- Your impairment is on Social Securitys list of disabling medical conditions
Social Security uses a step-by-step process to decide if you have a disability.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for people who have become disabled after earning enough Social Security work credits within a certain time.
Your spouse or former spouse and your children may be eligible for benefits when you start getting SSDI.
How to Apply for SSDI
You can apply for SSDI benefits online, by phone, or in person.
- If your application is approved, youll have a five-month waiting period for benefits to start.
- If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for people with disabilities or who are 65 or older with little to no income and resources. SSI is not Social Security. Although the names sound similar and the Social Security Administration runs the program, it does not fund SSI.
How to Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Adults can apply for SSI by phone, in person at a local Social Security office, or in some cases online. To apply for SSI for a child, you can start the process online but will need to complete it either in person or by phone.
- You can appeal If your application is denied.
- Explore a listing of SSI topics to learn more detailed information.
Working While Receiving SSDI or SSI
Whether you receive SSDI or SSI, you may be able to work without it impacting your benefits if you earn less than a certain amount. You can find all the details in the booklet Working While Disabled: How We Can Help.