Social Security Questions & Answers
Sunday, March 7, 2021

Is your teenager looking for a job? Can’t find their Social Security card? Find the answer in this article.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

By Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Question: Can I refuse to give my Social Security number to a private business?

Answer: Yes, you can refuse to disclose your Social Security number, and you should be careful about giving out your number. But, be aware, the person requesting your number can refuse services if you don’t give it. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, etc., are free to request someone's number and use it for any purpose that doesn’t violate a federal or state law. To learn more about your Social Security number, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

Question: I’m 17 and eager to start my first summer job, but my mother misplaced my Social Security card. How can I get another?

Answer: If you know your Social Security number, you may not need to get a replacement card to obtain employment. However, if a prospective employer requests it, you can get a replacement Social Security card by following the steps below. There is no charge for a Social Security card, but you are limited to three per calendar year and 10 replacement cards during your lifetime.

You will need to:
Show the required documents. We need to see different documents depending on your citizenship and the type of card you are requesting. Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber to find out what documents you will have to show;
Fill out an Application for a Social Security Card; and

Take or mail your application and original or certified copies of the original documents to your local Social Security office.

For more information, read our pamphlet, Your Social Security Number and Card at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Question: Why should I sign up for a my Social Security online account?

Answer: my Social Security gives you a personal online account you can securely use to check your Social Security information and do business with us. With a my Social Security account you can:
Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year;
Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working;
Get a replacement Social Security card if you meet certain criteria and reside in these locations;
Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them; and
Manage your benefits:
Change your address or telephone number;
Start or change your direct deposit;
Get a replacement Medicare card; and
Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

To find all of the services available and set up an account, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Vonda Van Til is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov. 

 

 

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