In This Chapter
Obtaining a Social Security number
Taking care of your Social Security card
Safeguarding your Social Security number
Your Social Security number is a key to your identity — and that makes it valuable in all kinds of ways. In this chapter, I cover the ABCs of Social Security numbers and cards: how to get them and when, how to replace them, the different types of Social Security cards and who needs which kind, what to do if criminals get ahold of your number, and more.
Technically, you aren’t required to have a Social Security number, but it sure comes in handy. You typically need a Social Security number to get a job and earn money — your Social Security number is how employers report your income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). And you need a Social Security number to collect Social Security benefits. All kinds of institutions — from banks to schools to healthcare providers — ask for your Social Security number. Even if you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you may find it extremely useful to have a Social Security number. That’s right — you don’t have to be a citizen to get a ...