Why is it even important to get a social security number for a newborn and what’s the way to go about the entire process of getting it? You’ll find out all you need to know in this article.
I bet the news of your pregnancy brought with it excitement and joy to you and to your loved ones. People must have congratulated you. It is pretty exciting no doubt but what most people don’t realize is the responsibility that comes with it can be quite daunting too.
Having a baby is not just fun and happy times. It’s going to be exhausting; physically, emotionally, and mentally. You’re probably thinking about a million changes; both big and small that you’re going to have to make in your life now to accommodate and provide for your little one. You’re possibly thinking about all the things you never thought about before; from deciding which brand of diapers to buy to how to get a social security number for your newborn.
If you’re living in the U.S., you’re expected to have a social security number and the same applies to your baby too. In this article, I’m going to tell you all you need to know regarding how to get a social security number for your newborn. Before we get into the ‘How’ let’s understand the ‘Why’. Why are you even going through the hassle of applying for a social security number for your newborn?
Why is it important for you to get a social security number for your newborn?
By adding your child to your income tax return as your dependent you will be eligible to claim benefits. That can only be done once you have a social security number for your newborn.
Here’s a list of some other reasons for you to get a social security number for you newborn:
- To be able to open a bank account for your baby
- To get medical coverage for your child
- For buying savings bonds for your baby
- To be able to apply for government services for the baby
Now that you know the benefits of getting a social security number for your newborn let’s proceed to the part where you understand how you can go about this process.
The Actual Process
It is fairly simple to apply for a social security number for your newborn.
Applying at the time of your baby’s birth
This is without a doubt the most convenient way to get a social security number for your newborn. All you need to do is to inform the hospital management that you need to apply for your child’s social security number and they will take care of everything. They will ask you to fill out a relevant form requesting the birth certificate of your newborn.
You’ll have an option on the form to write ‘yes’ or ‘No’ to applying for your child’s social security number. On proceeding with ‘Yes’, you will have to provide the social security number of both the parents preferably.
You will still be able to apply for a social security number for your newborn even if just one parent has a social security number.
You’ll be required to fill in the following information:
- Your child’s name
- The date and birthplace of your child
- Information regarding your child’s ethnicity and race
- Your baby’s gender
- Your relationship to your baby (if you’re the biological parent, legal guardian or an adoptive parent)
- The social security number of both you and your spouse. Just write ‘unknown’ if you don’t know.
- The date of submission and your signatures are put down in the end.
This method of getting a social security number for your newborn is the most efficient of all methods because the State Agency responsible for issuing birth certificates will share your child’s information with the SSA (Social Security Administration). Doing this speeds up the verification process that has been put in practice to rule out fraudulent cases. Once you fill and submit the form you will receive your baby’s social security number in the mail.
Applying for a social security number for your newborn later
You’ll have to complete the Form SS-5 Application for a social security card if you choose to apply later. You have the option of filling out the form online and printing it later, it doesn’t necessarily have to be handwritten. They require you to submit some documents for the social security officer to verify the information that you have put down on the form.
The main prerequisite is proof of your identity along with the proof of your baby’s identity. Several documents are acceptable for this procedure. Some of them include:
- A copy of your child’s birth certificate
- S. passport
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Your Driver’s License
You can find out the nearest Social Security office by visiting http://www.ssa.gov/ . You’ll have to click on the tab that says ‘Find a Social Security Office’. You will then be directed to another page where you will be required to can enter a zip code. Upon entering your zip code, you will get the full address and contact information of your nearest social security office.
You will be able to apply for social security for a newborn free of cost. You can avail of security services for free.
Additional tips that you need to keep in mind
- In case your child was born outside the US but still has a right to US citizenship through parentage you’ll have to provide the social security administration with a foreign birth certificate.
- The documents that you provide to prove your child’s identity must not be expired, they must show your child’s name clearly. It helps to submit a document that also has a photograph of your child. An ID without a photo is also acceptable as long as it gives enough information that can aid the verification process.
- Before issuing a social security number for a newborn the social security administration requires your child’s U.S passport but if that is not available they may also accept an adoption decree, a clinic/ hospital record or a religious record.