It’s not a must for your child to have a Social Security number (SSN). It’s advisable, however, to apply for an SSN for your child because you’ll need the number for various reasons. The reasons may include applying for a government benefit, opening a bank account for your child, claiming your child as a dependent on your tax return, and acquiring health insurance.
Moreover, if your child’s Social Security gets lost, you should apply for a replacement card as soon as possible to avoid any inconveniences. You can apply for your child’s Social Security Number at the hospital or a Social Security Administration office.
Let’s explore each option, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
SSN Application at the Hospital
Applying for your child’s SSN at the hospital, when you’re giving information for your newborn’s birth certificate, is perhaps the simplest and most convenient option.
While you’ll be asked for the Social Security Numbers of both parents, you can still apply if you can’t remember the SSNs. Your state will first process the application before forwarding it to the Social Security Administration for final processing.
You should expect to receive your child’s Social Security card in about four weeks after application.
Applying for Your Child’s SSN at The Social Security Office
If you didn’t get an opportunity to apply for your child’s SSN at the hospital— maybe the child was delivered outside a hospital setting—you can get your child’s SSN by visiting your local Social Security Administration Office.
Here’s the procedure you should follow at the Social Security office:
- Fill out the Social Security Card application Form SS-5.
The information you’ll need to provide in the form includes your child’s name, your child’s date and place of birth, your child’s sex, your child’s citizenship status, your mailing address, your relationship with the child, as well as yours and your partner’s names and SSNs. You can indicate “unknown” if you don’t have the SSNs.
- Provide Original Copies Of Your Child’s Proof Of Identity Documents
If you don’t have the child’s birth certificate, you can provide hospital records of birth, the child’s U.S. passport, U.S. immigration document, or religious records.
- Provide Your Proof Of Identity Documents
This can be your passport, driver’s license, and the like.
It’s worth noting that if your child is at least 12 years old, he or she should be physically present at the Social Security office when you’re applying for aSocial Security number.
Getting a Social Security Number for your child is a good idea even though it isn’t necessary. With your child’s Social Security Number, you’ll have an easier time obtaining medical cover for him, opening a bank account for him, applying for government benefits, and buying a savings bond for him. You’ll also need the number to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return. You can apply for the Social Security at the hospital or a Social Security office.