Planning for Retirement

Planning for retirement? Retirement help is here, with these retirement planning tips offered in this free lesson.

How to obtain a Social Security card

Remember, the number on your Social Security card is used to determine your benefits. The Social Security Administration issues this number on a Social Security card.

The SSA issues three types of cards:

  • The card many people have shows their name and Social Security Number and lets them work without restriction. It is issued to:
    • U.S. citizens
    • People lawfully admitted to the U.S. with permanent Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) work authorization
  • The second card is "NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT" and is issued to people:
    • From other countries lawfully admitted to the U.S. without work authorization from INS
    • Who need a number because of a federal law requiring a Social Security Number to receive a benefit or service
  • The third card is "VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION." It is issued to people who:
    • Are lawfully admitted to the U.S. on a temporary basis
    • Have INS authorization to work

To obtain an original number and card, complete an application for a Social Security card (Form SS-5), and show documents that prove your age, identity, U.S. citizenship, or lawful alien status.

To obtain an application you can:

Before you make a trip to the local office, make sure you have all necessary documents. There is no charge to get a Social Security card.