Share This Post
What Happens If You Lose Your Social Security Card?
Most of us use our Social Security numbers frequently. Whether we’re at the doctor’s office, applying for a loan, filing taxes, opening a credit card, applying for a job, traveling, or in many other instances, it’s a number we provide often. In many cases, we rely on it so often that we have it memorized – which means that we don’t often have to produce our Social Security card itself as often as we might otherwise. Nevertheless, it’s important to keep track of one’s Social Security card – and it can be very concerning when it goes missing.
What Are the Risks?
If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, you may worry about being exposed to identity theft and fraud. You may be concerned that you’ll suffer financial harm. You may wonder if your credit could be damaged as a result. Often, those who steal Social Security cards might attempt to use your number in a variety of fraudulent ways, including:
- Applying for credit in your name but not paying the bills, which ultimately damages your credit score;
- Applying for jobs;
- Seeking medical care or payment for medical care;
- Committing tax fraud;
- Obtaining a driver’s license;
- Opening financial accounts;
- Obtaining insurance;
- And more.
All of these behaviors are obviously very worrisome, and present cause for legitimate concern. That’s why it’s important to be able to take action quickly if your Social Security card goes missing.
Replacing A Lost or Stolen Card
The first and most important thing you can do if you believe your Social Security card has potentially been stolen is to contact your local police department to report the theft, as well as contact the Social Security Administration (call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213) or www.ssa.gov to let them know about the loss and begin the process of requesting a replacement card if desired.
Generally, in order to request a new card, you will need to:
- Establish that you are a United States citizen, age 18 or older;
- Have a mailing address in the United States;
- Only be requesting a new card – not for any changes to the card;
- Have a driver’s license or state identification card from one of the 50 United States;
- Fulfill any other requirements that might be specific to your state or situation.
Meeting these requirements should, in most cases, make it possible for you to obtain a replacement card.
What Other Steps Can You Take To Protect Yourself?
After doing so, there are a few other helpful steps you can take to help reduce the risks involved with losing your card, and obtain a replacement card, if necessary. Some steps you can take to protect your identity and financial health, include:
- Order a free credit report: You can request a free copy of your credit report to check for suspicious activity, which could alert you to possible fraud. You can order credit reports from all three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, and checking your credit report regularly is often quite helpful.
- Request a fraud alert: A fraud alert is an alert placed under your name to notify creditors to contact you in order to verify your identity before extending any credit under your name. Any one of the three major credit bureaus can place a fraud alert on your account if requested.
- Consider freezing your credit: Freezing your credit will block anyone from accessing your credit report. It will help to alert you to suspicious activity and is an important component of protection against identity crime. Unlike with fraud alerts, those requesting a credit freeze will need to do so individually with each credit bureau.
- Check your accounts regularly for suspicious activity: If your Social Security card has been lost or stolen regularly checking your bank and credit card statements for any evidence of suspicious activity can also be helpful.
While these are a few steps you can take to be vigilant about protecting your identity and your credit in the event that you lose your card, it is also helpful, generally, to make these behaviors a regular practice to protect yourself from any suspicious or illegal activity that may be harmful to you and to your credit.
Mj Ellis Disability Law – Here for You
At MJ Ellis Disability Law, our talented and experienced legal team understands every aspect of the process of applying for disability benefits. No matter where you are in that process, whether filing an initial application, pursuing an appeal, or anything in between, we’re here for you, and we know the best legal strategies to pursue on your behalf. If you want knowledge and expertise on your side as you pursue the benefits you need and deserve, you need the team at MJ Ellis. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.