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First issued in November 1935, Social Security Numbers were originally introduced to help track individuals for Social Security benefit purposes. They helped the government track contributions to its retirement assistance program. Today, however, you need a Social Security Number (SSN)for virtually all of the critical transactions in your life.
If you get hired for a job, for example, your employer will want your SSN for purposes of reporting your income to the IRS and your Social Security Wages the Social Security Administration. Let’s look at other situations where you’ll be asked for your Social Security number.
- When Opening A Bank Or Credit Account
When you want to open a bank account, the bank may ask for your Social Security card for various purposes like verifying your identity or your creditworthiness. The bank may also use your SSN for interest reporting to the IRS.
Likewise, if you’re looking to obtain a credit card, the credit card company will ask for your security card number for purposes like verifying your creditworthiness.
- When Applying For Various Forms Of Public Assistance
If you’re looking for government-supported public assistance like Social Security disability income or unemployment benefits, you’ll have to prove that you’re truly entitled to the benefits you’re claiming. The government agency tasked with offering the benefits will use your SSN to verify your eligibility.
- When Looking For A Federal Student Loan
If you decide to apply for a federal loan, the government will need your Social Security Number to check if you meet the eligibility requirements. Namely, to be eligible for a federal student loan, you should not have defaulted on another loan.
Also, you should have a valid citizenship or visitor status. If you are male, you may also be required to have registered with the Selective Service.
- When Filing Your Tax Return
The IRS will need your SSN to compare the income you declared when filing your tax return with the income your employer reported to have paid to you. Moreover, you should provide your child’s Social Security Number to confirm that your child is dependent on your tax return.
- When Visiting The Doctor
There’s a high chance that when you visit a doctor’s office you’ll be required to provide your SSN. Doctors normally use the SSN for billing and insurance purposes. They may also use it to ascertain that no unauthorized persons are using your medical information.
- When Applying For A Passport
It’s a legal requirement that you provide your SSN when applying for a U.S passport. Failure to provide your SSN if you have one may cost you a $500 fine. If you don’t have an SSN, however, you’ll have to wait a little longer for your passport application to be processed.
It’s important to have a Social Security Number. Otherwise, you may not be able to undertake some critical activities in your life like opening a bank account, visiting a doctor, applying for a federal loan, and filing tax returns.