Do Social Security Cards Expire?

Social Security and what it means in the US

Do Social Security Cards Expire?

The Social Security Number never expires which means that social security cards are not something that expire. The SSN is a unique set of numbers issued by the US government to a a person who lives in the United States permanently. It remains the same irrespective of citizenship, the status of their career, or location for any permanent resident located in the United States. So to answer the question do social security cards expire. No, They don’t. There is no Social security expiration date. There is a date that is printed just below the signature line that people mistake for something resembling an expiry date but if you look closer you will notice something. It is the date of issuance of the card and not the expiration date as there is no validity for a social security card.  

What is a Social Security Number (SSN) and who issues it?

The social security number (SSN) is a unique attributive identifier issued by the US government to the citizens and residents of the United states of America. It contains 9 digits which each section of the number and letters assigning a personal value to your account. Any date mentioned is not the Social Security Expiration date as such a thing does not exist.

Applying for your SSN and the documents you will need for the application process

For immigrants who are residing in the US and are applying for the Employee Authorization Document (EAD), the document that allows you to work in the United States, it would be best if you file the i-765 form to get the process started. You can find this particular form on the USCIS website. If the USCIS approves your application and you have already applied for an SSN, then they will send your application request and your data to the local SSA office. 

You can also directly visit an SSA office in your area. Register for your card with help of the SS 5 social security form. This is only something that you should do once you have unlocked the ability to work in the United States by getting your EAD card.

You can click on this link to locate your nearest SSA office

The different documents that you need to carry when you go to the SSA to apply for the card are as follows :

  • Your I-765 or I-766 form as proof of your immigration status. 
  • Your native country passport detail or any other proof of birth like birth certificate, US military record, etc.

It is quite common for the card to take at least two weeks or more to arrive at your doorstep along with your SSN number and the social security card. All this takes place once the documents that you have submitted have been verified. It may take 2 more additional weeks if the verification process takes longer than usual.

Now, having an SSN is very important. It not only serves as your unique identification document but also has various other benefits.

Social Security Administration

Benefits of having a Social Security Number:

The Social Security number can be beneficial in several ways, In fact is can be a boon to a lot of people who plan on living in the United States. If you are a US citizen or a permanent resident, a non-citizen or nonimmigrant, chances are the social safety nets and other benefits that the SSN provides is an really enticing prospect for you :

  • The Social Security Card is useful for filing taxes. This particular tax is used to cover social security benefits for people who have completed their duty as citizens and are retiring, people who are disabled, or the survivors of the employees or workers who have passed away. 
  • When you get a job, your employer will ask for your Social Security Number.
  • Medicare or national healthcare insurance coverage. Though it doesn’t and cannot cover the expenses for all your medical needs, it does cover most of the long-term health care costs. Medicare has been into 2 categories –
  1. The first category or Part A covers the expenses related to patient care, nursing facility post-discharge from the hospital, and some coverage on the infirmary. 
  2. The second category or Part B covers the cost of services provided by doctors or other healthcare professionals, outpatient care, home health care requirements, and medical apparatus.
  • Retirement benefits: If you reach your retirement at the right age as designated by the federal and state governments, then you will receive full benefits. If you choose to retire earlier than your actual retirement age, you will receive benefits lower than if you had retired at the actual retirement age. If you plan to work for some more time after you have reached your full retirement age, you will receive a higher percentage of the retirement benefit amount. 

    As we have discussed earlier, the amount of retirement benefits depends on the credits you have earned while paying taxes when you were working. To obtain the benefits you will need a certain amount of credits. The retirement benefits are categorized into a different segment like :
  1. Benefits for self
  2. Benefits for the widows and widowers
  3. Family benefits like benefits for Spouses, children or divorced spouses, and many more.

You can apply for the retirement benefit and know more about your credits by clicking here. 

  • Disability benefits: The SSN provides several disability insurance to individuals who cannot work for about a year or two due to certain physical or mental conditions or result in death. There are several terms and conditions to claim disability benefits. 
  1. You and your next of kin will qualify for disability benefits. For as long as you keep you have worked in your life, and if you paid your dues to society by giving away your social security taxes and your income. 
  2. If you are disabled you need to file for the disability benefits as soon as possible. This is because it takes a longer time to verify and process the application for the claim.
  3. The Various documents that you will need to apply for this benefit are – medical prescription and other documents from your doctors, nurses or health workers, hospitals, care centers, etc. Your test result documents from the laboratory. The contact information of the doctors you have consulted and hospitals. The details of the medications that have been prescribed to you and the contact information of your employers. You will be required to share your job responsibilities at your workplaces from the last 15 years. 

If you need more details about the Social security disability benefits or apply online you can click here. 

  • Benefits for the next of kin: There will come a point when your will also start receiving money from the social security retirement and disability insurance. In this scenario, the members of your family that are your next of kin also become eligible to receive some compensation. 
  • Apart from these, the social security number is also required when you want to open a bank account. If you need to obtain a loan, apply for private insurance, or when are buying a car or a home you need an SSN. 
  • You will also need a Social Security Number to apply for federal loans. Other than that, you can obtain a Driver’s License when applying for a passport, and file your tax return.

You can contact this toll-free number to get in touch with the Social Security Office’s payment center. The listed numbers are 1-800-772-1213 / 1-800-325-0778. They are available from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 7:00 PM. Apply for your social security benefits by contacting them on the above numbers.

What are the documents needed to apply for the benefits through the Social Security Number?

Here are few important documents that you need to have at hand when applying for the benefits under the SSN:

  1. Your SSN card
  2. Your birth certificate or any other proof of date of birth.
  3. Proof of US Citizenship, or immigration status if not born in the US.
  4. Your children’s Social security number and card, and proof of birth (If applying for them)
  5. Your spouse’s birth certificate and social security number (if applying for them to get benefits from your earnings)
  6. Marriage certificate.
  7. Your W2 form or other tax return documents.
  8. Your Military discharge papers (if applicable)

Now that we have covered extensive information about the various benefits you can obtain from having a social security number, it is also key to observe what are the various parts of the Social Security Number. You can also note how you can keep the number safe.

Different parts of Social Security Number: 

Parts of SSN number

A social security number is a 9-digit number divided into three parts – 

  • The first set consists of 3 digits and represents the ‘Area Number’.
  • The second set consists of 2 digits and is called the ‘Group Number’.
  • The third set of numbers has 4 digits and represents ‘ Serial number’.

The Area Number is determined by the geographical region. This does not necessarily mean the residential address of the applicant but the state in which the card was issued. 

The Group Number or the middle two numbers range from 01 to 99 and are randomly arranged. 

The Serial Number or the last four digits range from 0001 to 9999 and are consecutively arranged. 

How can we keep the Social Security Number (SSN) safe?

In order to avoid identity theft, it is very important to keep your social security number safe. You need to use your SSN as little frequently as possible and do not disclose it to anyone unless required. In several cases, the bank officials or the insurance representatives may ask for your SSN to identify you. This is a mandatory security requirement. 

What should I do if my SSN card is lost or stolen? 

A card that has been stolen or missing requires immediate attention. You need to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office on 1-800-772-1213. This is where you can report the issue you are facing with your card. You also need to make an appeal to renew your SSN. Prioritize filing a complaint with the authorities as soon as possible . 

So, the bottom line is, Social Security Number is very crucial. It is important for an individual and needs to be kept highly secured. The Social Security Number does not expire and hence you should keep it close to your chest. Hope this article helps you with the information you needed about the SSN and its various benefits.

Keeping your SSN safe

Aren’t you glad that we shared all this in response to a simple question? Do Social Security cards expire? Evidently as we have proven here that they do not. Keep this in mind when the next time a scammer calls you asking your your social security number as he want to “renew your SSN”.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Do Social Security Cards expire?

Social Security number does not expire. It is a unique identifier for an individual that stays with him for life long. 

How to apply for a replacement of an SSN card?

To apply for a replacement of your SSN card you need to click here. You need to create an account by clicking on ‘My Social Security  Account’ and follow the steps. 

When do we need a replacement of an SSN card?

You can place a  request to replace your SSN card in case of loss of your card, or if you need to change the name on the card in case you get married and have a different name.

What can we do to keep our SSN cards safe?

It is very important to keep your SSN card safe to avoid fraudulent activities. You need to make sure not to disclose your SSN to anyone and use it as little frequently as possible. 


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