9 Ways to Find Your Social Security Number (SSN)

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Locating your Social Security Number (SSN) requires confirmation that you have one, as not everyone does.
  • Check your SSN card, issued upon application, or annual statements from the Social Security Administration.
  • Examine tax documents, employment records, and bank statements for your SSN.
  • Past employers or USCIS forms can also provide information to help locate your SSN.

In the U.S., all people who have a job and earn an income should have an SSN, as this allows for the person’s income to be reported to the IRS. Not all people may know where to find it, though. So, where to find your Social Security Number?

9 Ways to Easily Find Your Social Security Number (SSN)

To find a Social Security number, you must first make sure that you have one. Not all people have one, so if you’re not employed just yet and don’t pay taxes, you will not find one at all.

1. Social Security Card

Your SSN is initially provided to you on your Social Security card, which is typically issued when you apply for a Social Security Number. Ensure that you keep this card in a secure place, as it’s one of the primary sources for your SSN.

2. Social Security Statement

The Social Security Administration (SSA) sends out annual Social Security Statements to eligible individuals, containing important information about your benefits. Your SSN is included on these statements. Alternatively, you can create an account on the official SSA website to access your statement online.

3. Tax Documents

When you file your taxes, your SSN is a crucial component of the process. You can find it on documents like your W-2 form, 1099 forms, or previous tax returns. These documents are usually provided by your employer or financial institutions.

4. Government Records

If you’ve interacted with government agencies or applied for benefits, your SSN may appear on documents related to those transactions. Keep an eye out for correspondence or forms that contain your SSN.

5. Employment Records

Your SSN is often included on various employment-related documents, such as pay stubs, employee ID cards, and benefits enrollment forms. Check these records if you need to access your SSN.

6. Bank Statements

Bank statements can also be a source of your SSN. Some financial institutions include your SSN on account statements for identification purposes. Review your statements, and you may find your SSN listed.

7. Former Employers

If you have trouble accessing your SSN through other means, consider reaching out to your former employers. They may have your SSN on record, especially if you’ve previously worked for them.

8. Social Security Administration

If you can’t find your SSN through any of the above methods, you can reach out to your local Social Security Administration office. Be prepared to provide proper identification to request information related to your SSN.

9. USCIS Forms (for Immigrants)

If you are an immigrant in the United States and have applied for a visa or green card through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your SSN may be included on immigration-related forms. Review any USCIS forms you’ve submitted or received to locate your SSN.

How to Find Your SSN Online

Misplaced your SSN card or can’t recall the number? No need to worry; you can easily retrieve your SSN online. Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Account Creation

  • Go to the United States Social Security Administration website.
  • Locate and select the “My Social Security” option.
  • Begin the account creation process by providing the required information, such as your name, email address, date of birth, and other personal details.
  • Set up a username and password for your account.

Step 2: Verification

  • The SSA will ask you some identity-verification questions to ensure the security of your account.
  • Once your identity is confirmed, your account will be created.

Step 3: Retrieving Your SSN

  • Log in to your “My Social Security” account using your username and password.
  • Navigate to the relevant section for retrieving your SSN.

However, if you haven’t created an account yet and now need it to find your SSN online, there’s a bit of a catch-22 situation. You’ll require your SSN to complete the online registration process. For those who already have an account, you’ll only need your username and password to access your SSN.

How to Find a Child’s Social Security Number

A child’s Social Security Number (SSN) is essential for various purposes, from tax benefits to accessing government services. Parents and legal guardians often need this information, but it’s crucial to handle it with care and safeguard their identity. In this guide, we’ll explore how to find your child’s SSN through legitimate means while emphasizing the importance of maintaining their privacy and security.

  • Birth Certificate – One of the primary sources for your child’s SSN is their birth certificate. When your child is born, you may have applied for their SSN as part of the birth registration process. The SSN is typically printed on the birth certificate. Check the official copy for this important detail.
  • Social Security Card – If your child has been issued a Social Security Number, they will have their own Social Security card. This card is typically provided when you apply for your child’s SSN. Be sure to keep this card in a secure location, as it contains sensitive information.
  • Visit Your Local Social Security Administration Office – If you didn’t apply for your child’s SSN at birth or if you’ve misplaced their card, you can visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. They will provide guidance on the application process and help you obtain your child’s SSN legally.
  • Check IRS Documents – Your child’s SSN may appear on certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents, such as tax returns, if you have claimed them as a dependent. Look for these documents in your tax records.
  • School Records – Schools often request students’ SSNs for various administrative purposes. Check enrollment forms, report cards, or school records where this information might be recorded.
  • Medical Records – In some cases, your child’s SSN may be used for medical billing or insurance purposes. Review medical records or insurance documents for any mention of their SSN.
  • Legal Documents – If you’ve ever filled out legal documents on behalf of your child, like adoption papers or immigration forms, their SSN might be included. Check these records for reference.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration – If you’re unable to find your child’s SSN through the above methods, contact the SSA for guidance. Be prepared to provide proof of your identity and legal guardianship.

Social Security Number Overview

Social Security Numbers (SSNs), consisting of nine digits, are issued to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents 1, and some working nonimmigrants. They were introduced in 1935 as part of The New Deal. An SSN is essential for reporting income to the IRS and tracking employment for Social Security benefits. It’s mandatory for those over 18 with income. To obtain one, fill out Form SS-5 (the applications for a Social Security card 2,3) and provide identity, age, and immigration/citizenship proof, as well as additional documentation, all at no cost. You can’t use an SSN not issued to you, and using a false one on USCIS forms can lead to denial and enforcement action. Find your SSN on your Social Security card or various documents like bank statements, tax returns, and some USCIS forms.

How to Replace Your SSN If It’s Been Lost or Stolen

If you lost your SSN or it got stolen, you can ask for a replacement. Having your Social Security card stolen or losing it will make it harder for you to find your SSN. This is why you should make sure to have it replaced. If you want to do that, you should go to the Social Security Administration website.

But if you know your SSN, it may not be necessary to replace the card. You just need to make sure you have it on other documents as well, like your tax returns or bank statements.

What makes this great is the fact that you will not have to pay to have your Social Security card replaced if it got lost or stolen, or if you damaged it. All you have to do is fill out an Application for a Social Security Card and print it. Then, you can mail it to the local Social Security office, together with other documents.

The Bottom Line

Finding your SSN is possible by checking your Social Security card, but you can also find it on bank statements or tax returns. If you lost your card and need the number, you will have to apply for a replacement, and in the meantime, you can ask your employer for more information on it.

How to Find an SSN: FAQ

Below, you will find some frequently asked questions about how to find a social security number adn their answers:

Can I Find Someone Else’s Social Security Number?

No, it is illegal and unethical to try to find someone else’s Social Security Number (SSN) without their consent. SSNs are highly sensitive and should be kept confidential.

How Can I Find My Lost Social Security Card?

To replace a lost Social Security card, you need to fill out Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, and provide documents proving your identity, age, and U.S. citizenship or immigration status. Submit the form to your local Social Security Administration office.

Can I Look Up My SSN Online?

It is not advisable to search for your SSN online. It’s important to keep your SSN private to prevent identity theft. The official Social Security Administration website offers secure access to your SSN through your personal account.

What Do I Do If I Suspect Identity Theft with My SSN?

If you suspect someone has stolen your SSN or you notice suspicious activity related to your SSN, contact the Social Security Administration and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately. They can guide you on reporting identity theft and taking necessary steps to protect your identity.

Where Can I Find My Child’s Social Security Number?

You can find your child’s SSN on their birth certificate, Social Security card (if issued), IRS documents if claimed as a dependent, school records, medical records, and legal documents related to your child. If needed, you can also visit your local Social Security Administration office for assistance in obtaining their SSN legally.

Sources Referenced

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/ssn.asp
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_number
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050515/purpose-social-security-form-ss5.asp
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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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