How to Change Your Social Security Number

  • By Greg Brown
  • Mar 06, 2023

How to Change Your SSN

Several reasons exist why a United States Citizen would want to change their Social Security number. The SSA discourages people from changing their number except for situations of harassment, abuse, or life endangerment. 

Changing your name or updating other information on a Social Security card is a straightforward process that requires documentation and filling out forms. Name changes require proof of identity, citizenship, and proof that your new name is official. It is a good idea to wait a few days before notifying other government and local offices of the change. 

Changing A Social Security Number

Deciding to get a new social security number on a whim is not allowed by the SSA. Nor can you change the number because of a lost card, or you are facing bankruptcy. There must be an imminent threat of domestic violence, physical abuse, or ongoing and significant financial harm due to identity theft

Domestic Violence

Everyone deserves relationships free from physical abuse and violence. Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have experienced some form of domestic abuse. It’s far too common of a crime, which is why these circumstances allow for the option to change a social security number for some individuals. 

Education and public awareness go a long way in helping alleviate the devastating consequences of abuse. Victims of domestic violence can find help through the Social Security Administration. The SSA can assign a new number if there is strong evidence proving abuse and harassment. 

The Social Security Administration takes changing a number with extreme caution and forethought. The proper documentation must be thoroughly laid out and be up to date. No photocopies or notarized documents are allowed, only originals. Only certain documents are allowed by the administration that verifies age, identity, and immigration status.

Apply for a new number:

  • Applications cannot be taken online or over the phone. Local field offices can help victims prepare a statement and assist with any needed documentation. The most convincing evidence comes from third-party entities such as the police or hospitals. 
  • Victims of abuse must prove the harassment and cruelty. Proof must be in police reports, medical injury records, and past or active restraining orders. Letters from friends, shelters, counselors, and family or friends would be beneficial. 
  • Current SSN.
  • Evidence documenting US Citizenship, age, and identity.

If children are involved, the administration must see custody arrangements and citizenship. The administration will also need the court’s approval if a name change is in the picture. 

Block access to your account

The SSA allows your Social Security records to be blocked if there is evidence the account has been compromised. This action is by no means a temporary obstruction. Once an account has been blocked, no one, including you, will have access to the account. Entry is stopped online or through the phone, and only a call to the administration can restore access; if this is an option, call 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a skyrocketing problem for many people and organizations. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission received nearly 5.88 million identity theft reports, a 19% increase from the prior year. Losses totaled over $6.8 billion, which accounted for a whopping 77% increase from 2020. 

No single piece of information is as critical to a person’s identity as their social security number. With this number, a person establishes their credit file, applies for loans and credit cards, and receives government and state benefits, among other advantages.

Social Security Name Change

Predators can ruin a person’s life if they illegally gain access to your SSN. Credit charges while not paying the bill, taking out loans, and applying for government benefits are all part of the repercussions of a stolen number. Identity theft may not be apparent until you are turned down for credit and mail shows up stating you have past due balances. 

In the course of everyday life, such as changing your child’s school and they ask for your SSN, this should raise a red flag. Ask why they need your number and how it will be used. What happens if you refuse to give them the number? The Social Security Administration is very protective of a person’s SSN, and you should be just as defensive. 

mySocialSecurity

The administration has taken advantage of online technology, allowing the millions of social security number holders to use a host of services previously bogged down by paper. For example, benefit verification letters used to take weeks to reach its user; now, it is just a matter of printing the information from mySocialSecurity.

Social Security Name Change

Changing the name on a social security card is a bit more than clicking a few online buttons. Documentation is the key to most changes, and the most convenient way to do business with the government is online. Documents must be original or certified by the administration. Identity documents such as a marriage or divorce decree will be needed. Identity and citizenship records are going to be needed as well. 

Obtain a New Social Security Card

If your card has been lost or stolen, the best way to start is online. The SSA makes it relatively easy to replace a card. In most cases, just knowing your present SSN will be enough. If there are any questions or concerns, the administration will contact you through email. The SSA will never call! Heading online to submit documentation is always the most convenient and quickest way to do business with the government. As with every other government service, no photocopies are accepted, only the originals.

Answering a few questions online is always the quickest way to receive any documentation from the government. Within 14 days, you should receive your new card. 

Final Word

The US Government is a mammoth beast, and since it has gone online, it is the only way to do business with this monster. The SSA has made it convenient for Americans to apply for and maintain the many benefits everyone enjoys and deserves. It is always a good idea to create the accounts you need, such as mySocialSecurity.com, and log in every few months to stay up to date and to ensure you are receiving your benefits.

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