Social Security Numbers (2023)

1401.1When is a Social Security Number assigned?

A Social Security Number (SSN) is assigned after we receiveand process your completed application (Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card).

1401.2What information do you submit with the application?

You must submit documents that prove your age, identity, andU.S. citizenship or immigration and work authorization status beforewe can process your application. If you are age 12 or older, youmust apply in person for a social security card. Your identity documentmust show your legal name.

(Video) How do Social Security Numbers work?

1401.3How long does it take to process the application?

Usually, it takes about two weeks, but may take longer dependingon how long it takes to verify your documents. For example, if youwere born in the United States and are requesting an original SocialSecurity number, we must verify your birth record, which can addup to 12 weeks to the time it takes to issue a card. U.S.-born includesbirth in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa,Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. VirginIslands.

1401.4What is the SSN used for?

The SSN is used for the following purposes:

  1. SSA uses the SSN to record earnings covered by Social Security and/or Medicare. These earnings determine your eligibilityand the amount of Social Security benefits when you retire, or become disabled; or survivor benefits if you die;

  2. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses the numbers assigned to you and your dependents as your taxpayer identification numbers (TIN) for processing tax returns;

  3. You need a SSN to file for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, and Medicare; and

    (Video) What is a Social Security Number?

  4. If you have a SSN, State-run programs, such as Statetax programs, driver's license, motor vehicle registration, and public assistance, may require that you provide your SSN.

(Video) Your Social Security Card is Insecure

1401.5How does the SSN provide accurate identification?

Although the SSN card is not considered an identity document (because it does not display identifying information about you),SSA uses your SSN to differentiate you from other SSN card holders.Many people have the same name, but each person has his or her ownSSN. Your SSN allows your earnings to be credited to you.

1401.6Can a person use someone else's SSN?

No one else may lawfully use your SSN.

(Video) Social Security Number // SSN // Major Things You "CANNOT DO" without SSN // USA Nurse Juan OFW

1401.7Can a person have more than one SSN?

Most persons have only one SSN. In certain limited situations,SSA can assign you a new number. If you receive a new SSN, you should use the new number. However, your old and new number will remain linked in our records to ensure that your earningsare credited properly. This could affect your benefits.

Last Revised: Feb. 2, 2006

(Video) What Your Social Security Number Means


What do the first 3 digits of your Social Security mean? ›

Since 1973, social security numbers have been issued by our central office. The first three (3) digits of a person's social security number are determined by the ZIP Code of the mailing address shown on the application for a social security number.

What do the first 5 numbers of Social Security number mean? ›

The SSN Numbering Scheme

The first set of three digits is called the Area Number. The second set of two digits is called the Group Number. The final set of four digits is the Serial Number.

What are the last 4 digits of SSN used for? ›

The SSN consists of an Area Number, Group Number, and Serial Number. Protecting the last four digits of the SSN is crucial to prevent identity theft.

What is my Social Security numbers? ›

You can find your Social Security number on tax documents and bank or financial statements. If you don't have any documentation, you can request a new Social Security card online with the Social Security Administration.

Does your social security number tell your age? ›

The serial number ranges from 0001 to 9999 and is assigned consecutively within each group number. As you can see, your social security number does not expressly say anything about you.

What does it mean when your social security number starts with a 9? ›

The Social Security Administration does not issue SSNs beginning with the number 9. Numbers beginning with a “9” may be a Social Security Administration issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS that has 9 digits beginning with the number 9.

Do Social Security numbers tell where you were born? ›

All social security numbers start with three digits, then two in the middle, and finish with four numbers. The first three numbers are called the area number. The area number shows the region or state where a person was born, and was first adopted in 1936.

What State was my SSN issued in? ›

The first three digits (the area number) of a SSN are determined by the state where the number was issued. You can get the state-assigned list for each 3-digit origination code by visiting

Do Amish have Social Security numbers? ›

While the Amish are governed by the law, they don't want to have social security numbers. However, they do get one when they join the church as an adult. Because the Amish come from the Anabaptist tradition, they believe that you should be baptized as an adult when you're fully able to consent.

Can 2 people have the same last 4 digits of SSN? ›

Out of 119 people, there is a 50% chance that two of them will have the same last 4 digits in their SSN. Out of 180 people, there is a 80% chance that two of them will have the same last 4 digits in their SSN.

Can 2 people have the same last 4 Social Security numbers? ›

The last four digits (serial numbers) run consecutively from 0001 through 9999, are unique to an individual and are handed out in chronological order within each area and group number. So if two neighbors apply for a SSN in the same year, the first five digits of both numbers will be identical.

Is it OK if someone knows the last 4 digits of SSN? ›

Giving someone the last four digits of your SSN could lead to identity theft as this is the direct way to do the most damage to your financial information. Why? Banks and other official institutions often only request the last four digits of your SSN to confirm your identity.

How do I get the $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

To acquire the full amount, you need to maximize your working life and begin collecting your check until age 70. Another way to maximize your check is by asking for a raise every two or three years. Moving companies throughout your career is another way to prove your worth, and generate more money.

Is 123456789 a valid SSN? ›

All threes (333333333) Consecutive digits in numerical order (123456789) The first three digits are outside of the range specified by the SSA. This range is determined and updated by the SSA.

Do Social Security numbers get reused? ›

To date, 453.7 million different numbers have been issued. Q20: Are Social Security numbers reused after a person dies? A: No. We do not reassign a Social Security number (SSN) after the number holder's death.

Can 2 people have same SSN? ›

The primary cause of two people having the same social-security number is someone using a number that is not theirs—either identity theft or a typographical error. SSA states that it will issue a new number if it is assigned to more than one person (implying this can happen).

How much is my social security number worth? ›

A separate Experian estimate from 2017 has driver's licenses selling for $20 while, surprisingly, Social Security numbers can sell for as little as $1.

Does your social security number mean anything? ›

The group number has no special geographic or data significance. It is used to break the numbers into blocks of convenient size for SSA's processing operations and for controlling the assignments to the States. 2 For all practical purposes, the serial numbers are random.

What does the A mean after a social security number? ›

15032: SSN Ends With a Letter

The letters at the end of a SSN indicate the claim number for a SSI or Social Security beneficiary.

What number will never start a social security number? ›

SSA will not issue SSNs beginning with the number “9”. SSA will not issue SSNs beginning with the number “666” in positions 1 – 3. SSA will not issue SSNs beginning with the number “000” in positions 1 – 3. SSA will not issue SSNs with the number “00” in positions 4 – 5.

Who has the first social security number? ›

This particular record, (055-09-0001) belonged to John D. Sweeney, Jr., age 23, of New Rochelle, New York. The next day, newspapers around the country announced that Sweeney had been issued the first SSN.

Do siblings have similar Social Security numbers? ›

The chance of sequential Social Security numbers (SSNs) being issued to siblings is extremely small with the random method used to issue numbers today. Having very different SSNs helps protect their personal information.

Is your Social Security number linked to a Federal Reserve bank account? ›

The claim that numbers on a Social Security card can be used as a routing and account number to make purchases is FALSE, based on our research. The Fed has debunked the claim on numerous occasions. It is not possible for an individual to have a bank account with the Fed.

Can you change your Social Security number? ›

To request a different Social Security number, contact your local Social Security office for an in-person appointment.

What does it mean when a Social Security number starts with 7? ›

It also had the added benefit of providing additional protection against identity theft. Prior to the changes the number “8” and “9” were not used for the first digit, and “7” was reserved for specific groups like railroad employees.

Can a SSN start with 111? ›

For example, all of the following SSNs are invalid: 111-11-1111. 999-99-9999. 123-45-6789.

Is there a way to look up your child's Social Security number? ›

If you listed your child as a dependent on a previous tax return, you should find their social security number (SSN) on that form. Otherwise, you can contact the Social Security Administration at

What are Amish bedroom rules? ›

Each person sleeps on their side of the bed, with a board in between them to prevent any physical contact. The couple is allowed to talk to each other during the night, but they're not allowed to touch each other.

What happens if an Amish husband dies? ›

In addition, members of the Amish community are allowed to remarry after their spouse passes. Widows sometimes garner financial assistance from their families or the church and may even find work outside of the home, according to Amish America.

Can Amish receive blood? ›

There's nothing in the Amish understanding of the Bible that forbids them from using modern medical services, including surgery, anesthesia, hospitalization, dental work, blood transfusions and immunization.”

How many times can you get a SSN? ›

You may receive no more than three replacement social security number cards in a year and ten replacement social security number cards per lifetime.

What do the numbers on the back of your Social Security card mean? ›

On the rear of a legitimate card there is a sequential control number. The control number is a combination of alpha and numeric that bears no relation to the actual social security number on the card.

How many possible combinations are there for a Social Security number? ›

There are, theoretically, 1 billion possible Social Security number combinations. This all-important nine-digit figure, first issued in 1936, enables you to receive disability and retirement benefits, apply for a driver's license in many states, file your income taxes (with some exceptions) and much more.

How do Social Security numbers not run out? ›

The previous SSN assignment process limited the number of SSNs that were available for assignment to individuals in each state. Randomization affords the SSA the opportunity to extend the number of SSNs available for assignment for many years.

Are Social Security numbers random? ›

The Social Security Administration (SSA) changed the way Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are issued on June 25, 2011. This change is referred to as "randomization." The SSA developed this new method to help protect the integrity of the SSN.

Can you buy SSN on dark web? ›

Using the dark web is legal, but it's been used for illegal dealings, like buying stolen personal information, including Social Security numbers (SSNs), bank account information and passwords.

How do I protect my social security number? ›

This is done by calling our National 800 number (Toll Free 1-800-772-1213 or at our TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). Once requested, any automated telephone and electronic access to your Social Security record is blocked.

What can someone do with your social security number and date of birth? ›

A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, when they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills, it damages your credit.

What is the 10 year rule for Social Security? ›

If you've worked and paid Social Security taxes for 10 years or more, you'll get a monthly benefit based on that work.

What is the highest Social Security payment? ›

3 steps to claiming the $4,555 max monthly Social Security...
  1. Step 1: Work a minimum of 35 years. ...
  2. Step 2: Earn an income equivalent to or greater than the wage cap. ...
  3. Step 3: Delay your Social Security claim until age 70.
Mar 10, 2023

What is the lowest Social Security payment? ›

The Social Security special minimum benefit provides a primary insurance amount (PIA) to low-earning workers. The lowest minimum PIA in 2023, with at least 11 years of work, is $49.40 per month. The full minimum PIA, which requires at least 30 years of work, is $1,033.50 per month.

What is the most misused Social Security number? ›

The most misused SSN of all time was (078-05-1120). In 1938, wallet manufacturer the E. H. Ferree company in Lockport, New York decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets.

What does a SSN starting with 9 mean? ›

The Social Security Administration does not issue SSNs beginning with the number 9. Numbers beginning with a “9” may be a Social Security Administration issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS that has 9 digits beginning with the number 9.

What do the middle 2 numbers in Social Security mean? ›

Within each area, the group number (middle two (2) digits) range from 01 to 99 but are not assigned in consecutive order. For administrative reasons, group numbers issued first consist of the ODD numbers from 01 through 09 and then EVEN numbers from 10 through 98, within each area number allocated to a State.

When a husband dies does the wife get his Social Security? ›

These are examples of the benefits that survivors may receive: Surviving spouse, full retirement age or older — 100% of the deceased worker's benefit amount. Surviving spouse, age 60 — through full retirement age — 71½ to 99% of the deceased worker's basic amount.

Can a person who has never worked collect Social Security? ›

The only people who can legally collect benefits without paying into Social Security are family members of workers who have done so. Nonworking spouses, ex-spouses, offspring or parents may be eligible for spousal, survivor or children's benefits based on the qualifying worker's earnings record.

What does the first two digit of a person's Social Security number indicates? ›

Structure. The Social Security number is a nine-digit number in the format "AAA-GG-SSSS". The number has three parts: the first three digits, called the area number because they were formerly assigned by geographical region; the middle two digits, the group number; and the last four digits, the serial number.

What is the Social Security number starting with 7? ›

Prior to the changes the number “8” and “9” were not used for the first digit, and “7” was reserved for specific groups like railroad employees.

How can I get money from my Social Security number? ›

There are two ways you can receive your benefits:
  1. Into an existing bank account via Direct Deposit or.
  2. Onto a Direct Express® Debit Mastercard®

How much is your Social Security number worth? ›

A separate Experian estimate from 2017 has driver's licenses selling for $20 while, surprisingly, Social Security numbers can sell for as little as $1.

How much money is in the Social Security trust fund? ›

Summary: Actuarial Status of the Social Security Trust Funds
2022 report2023 report
Trust fund reserves
Amount at beginning of report year (in billions)$2,852$2,830
Amount at beginning of report year (as a percentage of report year outgo)230%204%
Projected year of peak trust fund reserves c20222023
27 more rows

What does the red number on the back of a Social Security card mean? ›

The red numbers on the back of a Social Security card are control numbers used to verify the authenticity of the card.

Are last 4 digits of SSN public? ›

Only the last four digits of a Social Security Number (SSN) are displayed on court documents. However, a full SSN can be used to perform searches to identify debtors.

What is the SS number starting with 0? ›

Serial number 0000 is never used. Each State goes through all of its area numbers with group number 01 and serial numbers 0001-9999 and 7999 before using group number 03. Thus, 989,901 SSN's can be issued for each area number.

What number do Social Security numbers never start with? ›

SSA will not issue SSNs beginning with the number “9”. SSA will not issue SSNs beginning with the number “666” in positions 1 – 3. SSA will not issue SSNs beginning with the number “000” in positions 1 – 3.

What is the 888 SSN prefix? ›

SSA will begin assigning SSNs in previously unused numeric ranges, including the range beginning with "8". This change at SSA will impact Federal Student Aid's process for assigning pseudo SSNs beginning with “888” to students from the Pacific Islands.


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