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What is a Social Security Number?
Social Security is a federal insurance program to help those who are retired, unemployed, or disabled. A Social Security card contains a Social Security number (SSN), a unique nine-digit number that every U.S. citizen (or eligible U.S. resident who applies for one) receives from the U.S. government.
Your Social Security number helps the U.S. government keep proper track of the amount of years you’ve worked and how much money you’ve earned to determine if you are eligible for Social Security benefits.
Whenever you apply for a new job, your employer will ask you for your Social Security number in order to report your income figure and Social Security wages to two government agencies: the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and the SSA (Social Security Administration).
Your Social Security number doesn’t just help you secure employment in the U.S.
Having a Social Security number will help you open any account with a U.S. financial institution (although keep in mind you can sometimes do this with an ITIN,
Or individual taxpayer identification number, or apply for one internationally), get a driver’s license, apply for a federal student loan, apply for a U.S. passport, and fill out your tax return (an ITIN works for tax returns too), among other things.
In other words, getting a Social Security card is a must if you want to properly settle down in the U.S. and enjoy all that American life has to offer—aside from baseball, which doesn’t require an SSN.
Where can I find my Social Security Number?
A Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number that is generally issued to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and certain (working) nonimmigrants.
The Social Security Administration issues the number to track individuals employment for Social Security benefits. However, over time, the SSN has become a de facto national identification number for taxation and other purposes.
It’s also a common component on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms.
Finding Your Social Security Number
If you have a Social Security Number, you can find it on your Social Security card. Some other places that you can find your SSN are on tax returns, W-2s and bank statements. You may even find it on previously filed USCIS forms. However, if you do not have an SSN, you may generally answer “N/A” in the space provided on USCIS forms. Most individuals with nonimmigrant visas do not have Social Security numbers.
You may also be able to recover your SSN from an employer. Employers generally keep Social Security information on file.
Check with your employer to obtain a copy of the number.