Has your social security card been stolen recently? You have registered your complaint to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Trade Commission, and the local police and now you want to apply for a replacement of the card. Before going into the details of how you can get a replacement of the lost social security card, you may want to know if there are any charges involved for this.
Fortunately, there are no charges that you will have to pay. This service is offered for free. There are several conditions that you have to fulfill in order to become eligible for a replacement of the social security card. Here are some of the details that you need to know:
- You have to be a US citizen. Your age should be 18 years or above. Also, you should have a US mailing address.
- You are not requesting a change in your name or make any changes to the existing card.
- Replacements are provided to people who have lost their existing social security card and have proper proof of the complaints they have made to the respective departments mentioned above.
There are provisions to apply for a replacement of the social security card online. But if you are not a tech-savvy guy, then you can visit the nearest Social Security Administration office for an offline application.
How to apply to replace your social security card?
You can replace your social security card if it is lost or stolen or if any of your legal status in the US has changed. This will require a change in the social security card and for that, you can apply for a replacement. You will not be charged anything for applying for the replacement and the new social security card will be delivered to your address in the mail within the next 7 to 10 business days.
1. Documents required
Whether you apply online or offline, you will eventually have to visit the Social Security Administration office to present all the documents. Here are some of the documents that you will need at the time of submission of the application:
Proof of your identification – there are only certain documents that will be allowed as your proof of identity. And, the document that you present must be current and not expired. The document should have your name, preferably a recent photograph on the document, and identifying information like age or date of birth. Some of the most common proof of identification that is allowed are US passport, non-driver identification card issued by the state, US hospital recognized certificate of birth, and US driver’s license.
In case you do not have any of the mentioned documents and you do not get a replacement within the 10 working days, you will be asked to show other documents. These should also be current and not expired. Some of the alternate documents that are allowed are a school identification card, employee identification card, US military identification card, or health insurance card. Make sure it is not a medicine card.
You will have to submit a Form SS-5. It is downloadable from the Social Security website.
Whatever document you are asked to present, make sure you have both originals and photocopies so that the authorizing person can process the request faster. Also, the documents have to be certified by the respective issuing agency. Social Security Administration will not accept any photocopy of documents that are notarized.
2. Application process
If you have filed for the application of replacing your social security card online, then you can directly mail the application to Social Security Administration. Else, you will have to fill out the same form offline and visit the nearest Social Security Administration office to submit the application form and also the documents together. For those who live in the metropolitan area of New York City, Orlando FL, Las Vegas NV, and Phoenix AZ, you will have to be physically present in the Social Security Administration office while submitting the documents.
3. Limit of replacement
There are certain limitations imposed on the number of times you can replace your social security card. You are eligible to replace the card three times in a calendar year and a total of 10 times during your entire lifetime. So, make sure you don’t lose it so many times.
Apart from theft or lost social security card, there are instances when the replacement of your card will not be counted in the above-mentioned limits. If you change your name legally and there is a need to update the social security card, it will not be counted in the 3 times or 10 times limit as specified by the Social Security Administration. Similarly, if you want to change your non-citizenship status, then also you will be granted a replacement without affecting the limits.
4. Preventing identify theft
The most common crime that is committed by frauds is identity theft when they get hold of someone’s social security card. If you suspect that someone might use your social security number for the wrong reasons, then here’s what you need to do immediately:
- Complain to the local police and the Federal Trade Commission.
- Monitor all your credit reports carefully. If you find there is any discrepancy, you can inform your bank instantly to ensure that the frauds are not able to do anything serious with your account.
- You can also check your social security record every day till the time you get the replacement. Call on the toll-free numbers (800) 325-0778 or (800) 772-1213 to know the details of your income. You can also inform that your social security card is due for replacement so that your income is calculated accurately.
There have been many cases where people have lost their social security card several times but they have got their replacement within 10 working days. So, don’t worry if you too have a lost social security card. Just make sure that you have all the documents that are required handy.