Social Security number
And we have joined in governmentwide efforts to prevent Social Security number misuse. We can resolve Social Security number reporting problems on our own records. We cannot control or resolve Social Security number problems with other organizations such as credit companies, banks or the Internal Revenue Service IRS. When you have tax issues such as someone using your Social Security number to work or get your tax refund , contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit or call In addition, you can order free credit reports annually from the three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
Make a single request for all three:. Box , Atlanta, GA Also, file a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. If you can't afford to give a monetary gift, please visit our Amazon Wish List where you can choose from a variety of items that CAAB needs in order to better serve our community.
Since , CAAB has helped more than 2, individuals and families achieve their financial dreams. Forty-four percent have purchased their first homes, 33 percent have pursued post-secondary education and 23 percent have launched small businesses. The U. Armed Forces has used the Social Security number as an identification number for Army and Air Force personnel since July 1, , the Navy and Marine Corps for their personnel since January 1, , and the Coast Guard for their personnel since October 1, Social Security was originally a universal tax, but when Medicare was passed in , objecting religious groups in existence prior to were allowed to opt out of the system.
However, a Social Security number is required for parents to claim their children as dependents for federal income tax purposes,  and the Internal Revenue Service requires all corporations to obtain SSNs or alternative identifying numbers from their employees, as described below. The Old Order Amish have fought to prevent universal Social Security by overturning rules such as a requirement to provide a Social Security number for a hunting license.
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Social Security cards printed from January until January expressly stated that people should not use the number and card for identification. Since then, Social Security numbers have become de facto national identification numbers. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driver's license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults.
Internal Revenue Code section d provides: "The social security account number issued to an individual for purposes of section c 2 A of the Social Security Act [codified as 42 U. The Internal Revenue Code also provides, when required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary [of the Treasury or his delegate]:. According to U. Treasury regulations, any person who, after October 31, , works as an employee for wages subject to Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, or U.
A taxpayer who is not eligible to have a Social Security number must obtain an alternative Taxpayer Identification Number. Three different types of Social Security cards are issued. The most common type contains the cardholder's name and number. Such cards are issued to U. There are also two restricted types of Social Security cards:. Many citizens and privacy advocates are concerned about the disclosure and processing of Social Security numbers.
Furthermore, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have demonstrated an algorithm that uses publicly available personal information to reconstruct a given SSN. The SSN is frequently used by those involved in identity theft , since it is interconnected with many other forms of identification, and because people asking for it treat it as an authenticator.
- The Washington Post
Financial institutions generally require an SSN to set up bank accounts , credit cards , and loans—partly because they assume that no one except the person it was issued to knows it. Exacerbating the problem of using the Social Security number as an identifier is the fact that the Social Security card contains no biometric identifiers of any sort, making it essentially impossible to tell whether a person using a certain SSN truly belongs to someone without relying on other documentation which may itself have been falsely procured through use of the fraudulent SSN.
Congress has proposed federal laws that restrict the use of SSNs for identification and bans their use for a number of commercial purposes—e. Tax return preparers must obtain and use a Preparer Tax Identification Number PTIN to include on their client's tax returns as part of signature requirements.
Day care services have tax benefits, and even a sole proprietor should give parents an EIN employer identification number to use on their tax return. The Social Security Administration has suggested that, if asked to provide his or her Social Security number, a citizen should ask which law requires its use. Identity confusion has also occurred because of the use of local Social Security numbers by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, whose numbers overlap with those of residents of New Hampshire and Maine.
A person can request a new Social Security number, but only under certain conditions; . For all of these conditions, credible third-party evidence such as a restraining order or police report is required.
Prior to the randomization process, the first three digits or area number were assigned by geographical region. Prior to , cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the area number represented the office code where the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be in the area where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office.
Beginning in , when the SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore , the area number was assigned based on the ZIP Code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant's mailing address did not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the area number did not necessarily represent the state of residence of the applicant regardless of whether the card was issued prior to, or after, Generally, numbers were assigned beginning in the northeast and moving south and westward, so that people applying from addresses on the east coast had the lowest numbers and those on the west coast had the highest numbers.
As the areas assigned to a locality were exhausted, new areas from the pool were assigned, so some states had noncontiguous groups of numbers. The middle two digits or group number range from 01 to Even before SSN randomization, the group numbers were not assigned consecutively within an area.
Instead, for administrative reasons, group numbers were issued in the following order: .
The last four digits are serial numbers. Before SSN randomization took effect, they represented a straight numerical sequence of digits from to within the group.
Prior to June 25, , a valid SSN could not have an area number between and , or above , the highest area number the Social Security Administration had allocated. Effective June 25, , the SSA assigns SSNs randomly and allows for the assignment of area numbers between and and above through the s. Until , the SSA published the last group number used for each area number.
Now numbers are assigned randomly, and fraudulent SSNs are not easily detectable with publicly available information.
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Many online services, however, provide SSN validation. Unlike many similar numbers, no check digit is included. It has issued over million since the start of the program, and at a use rate of about 5. It says it has enough to last several generations without reuse or changing the number of digits. Some SSNs used in advertising have rendered those numbers invalid. One famous instance of this occurred in when the E. Ferree Company in Lockport, New York , decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets.
A sample card, used for display purposes, was placed in each wallet, which was sold by Woolworth and other department stores across the country; the wallet manufacturer's vice president and treasurer Douglas Patterson used the actual SSN of his secretary, Hilda Schrader Whitcher. Even though the card was printed in red the real card is printed in blue and had "Specimen" printed across the front, many people used Whitcher's SSN as their own. The Social Security Administration's account of the incident also claims that the fake card was half the size of a real card, despite a miniature card's being useless for its purpose and despite Whitcher's holding two cards of apparently identical size in the accompanying photograph.
Over time, the number that appeared has been claimed by a total of over 40, people as their own.