The Importance of Social Security Cards and What to do About a Lost or Stolen One

There you are, in an office maybe trying to close on a new home or you may have just moved from one state to another one and you are trying to get a new driver’s license for your new resident state. You may be enrolling your children in school or you may have accepted a new job and they need you to bring in your credentials.

All of these things listed above are ordinary tasks that individuals go through in life. However, you grab your wallet and you notice something is missing. You see your loose change, your photo id, but no social security card. Your day has gone from pleasant and organized to a total nightmare.

Social security cards are very important in our daily lives. Just reciting your social security card number is not enough because this is not a case where someone “taking your word for it” is a reasonable way to identify yourself. There is a reason why two forms of identification is normally requested. It is to protect whomever is requesting it and to protect yourself.

Social security cards hold a 9 digit number which is your social security number. This number is about as important as your fingerprints. It is used to keep track of how much money you have earned and how much you have contributed towards Social Security if you were to become eligible for it once you are old enough to reap the benefit after retirement.

Including everything that was listed above, here are some more situations that you will more than likely need your social;

  • Applying For a Federal Loan
  • Opening Up Financial Accounts Such As a Checking or Savings
  • Getting Your Driver’s License
  • When Applying For a Passport
  • When You Need to Apply For Government Assistance Such As Welfare
  • When You Are Old Enough to Receive Medicare

As you can see, your social security card is essential because in most of these cases, there will be copies made to add to a file to ensure that you are who you say you are.

There are some individuals you carry their social security card in their wallet on a daily basis. This practice can be very unsafe at times. There are instances where individuals lose their purse or wallet and this can be very dangerous. Yes, you may have lost your money, credit cards, license, picture id, etc. But, just by an unwanted person having your social security number your life could get turned upside down.

There are criminals all over the U.S. that make their living by taking from other hard working individuals. With the power of your social at hand, they could apply for all types of things such as;

Open Accounts In Your Name: If someone has your social security card, they are able to apply for loans and open up new accounts in your name. Computers and the internet has made it very convenient to do both online which means there are very rare cases where a photo id is requested. This means that an individual could get approved for a loan and never make a payment on it. This could lead to damage to your credit score and credit history.

Ruin Your Taxes: Some criminals dig through trash cans just to come across personal information like your social security number. They more than likely will not need an id to file bad taxes on your behalf. This is very dangerous because a problem with the Government is not something to joke around about. The scary part is that if this were to happen, they would be coming after you and not the thief. You will be investigated and would have to prove that it was not you that did the filing. Some of these offenses can be punishable with fines and even time in jail.

Pretend to Be You During Criminal Acts: Imagine waking up to a doorbell ring and as you look through your peephole there is a group of officers. They may be serving you papers to give you knowledge that you have been sued, or they could even have a warrant for your arrest. Thieves could easily be caught during a crime and present your personal information instead of their own. This will have you in a middle of a judicial mess that could lead to lifelong damage.

Although all of these things are possible and really scary, it is very important that you keep your social security card in a safe place at all times. A place at your home like a personal safe or a hidden compartment in your home that you only know about are some pretty good places to keep this type of information away from the wrong hands. Some individuals even store them in a safe box at their bank. Regardless, it is very important to keep it out of danger.

But, life does not always happen so smoothly everyday does it? You may lose your wallet, or even worse, someone may rob you. We can only do so much to protect ourselves but sometimes life just happens. So what if you find yourself as a victim of theft and your social security card is involved? What should you do if you flat out lost the card?

The first thing you should do is take immediate action and that means as soon as you possibly can. Every moment could be the difference between quickly avoiding any damaging effects in your personal life or becoming extremely stressed out due to someone ruining your life.

Your next plan of action is to view your credit reports to see if there are any activities that you do not recognize. You should also contact the credit bureaus to inform them of your situation. This will allow them to issue a fraud alert that you will need to renew every 90 days.

Your next step is to figure out where to get a social security card. This document is needed in too many cases and situations to not have a replacement copy very soon. Most of the time, visiting the Social Security Administration office is where to get a social security card. If not, they should be more than able to point you in the right direction. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a replacement card online but if you are not able to do that, here are some documents you may need to gather in order to proceed with the process of getting a new one;

  • Proof of Citizenship Such As a U.S. Passport
  • Documents to Prove Your Age Such As a Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Your Identity Such As Your Driver’s License

You should also contact the IRS and the Federal Trade Commission to notify them of what has occurred. If you believe your social security card to be stolen, you should contact the police and file a report with them as well.

In the worse case scenario, you may have to obtain a completely new social security number. This process can be very difficult so this road should only be traveled if you know without a doubt that your original SSN is at risk. You would have to prove that you have tried to dispute credit report inaccuracies and that the problems that you are having are too difficult to fix.

The bad part about obtaining a new number is that your old number will still exist so the damage is still there and you would have to start all the way over when it comes to building your credit. Please be aware that it is normal practice that new SSNs are not willingly just given out so there is a chance that you may not receive a new one.