Every permanent resident in the US and most American citizens have a numerical identifier used to monitor their income. This number is also important in determining their benefits. The Social Security Administration issues this number and it’s called the Social Security Number. There are many situations where you need to verify if the number you’re presenting is truly your own. As part of the verification process, you need to submit identifying information like your complete name, date of birth, and Social Security Number SSA. Do this to get proof of social security number as they will run your data against the master database.
Table of Contents
- 1 Social Security Number Verification Letters
- 2 What is a Social Security Number?
- 3 Proof Of Social Security Number
- 4 Why is this number important?
- 5 What is a Social Security Number verification letter?
- 6 Benefits Award Letters
- 7 Why do you need social security number verification letter?
- 8 How do I get my Social Security Number verification letter?
- 9 How long does it take to get a verification letter from Social Security?
Social Security Number Verification Letters
What is a Social Security Number?
A Social Security Number (SSN) is a number assigned to American citizens and permanent residents in the US. Originally, the intention of the SSN was to monitor the income of people in the US and provide certain benefits. Now, it’s also used for other purposes, the most common of which are to identify people for tax purposes and to keep track of credit reports. If you want to apply for loans, open a bank account, claim government benefits, and more, you need to provide your SSN.
Most permanent residents, working or temporary residents, and US citizens have an SSN. Even non-working residents can get this number because it’s important for government entities and businesses. There is a legal basis for assigning an SSN to qualified applicants and you can see this under Section 205(c)(2) of the Social Security Act.
An SSN is a random stream of digits. Before 2011, the first 3 digits represented the area in which the person resides. The next numbers originally represented the month or year of birth. Since there were concerns of falsification, the SSA decided to have a random group of numbers instead.
According to Federal Law, anyone can ask for an SSN although you don’t necessarily have to provide yours. You should only use your SSN when absolutely necessary. You have to be very careful not to lose your card as nefarious individuals can use it along with your personal data to take out loans, apply for credit, get a job, or even claim benefits in your name.
This will create a huge identity theft issue for you, which is very difficult to deal with. Make sure your card is in a safe place. If you lose your card or it gets stolen, inform the SSA right away to apply for a new one.
Proof Of Social Security Number
Why is this number important?
Having an SSN is very important if you apply for a job in the US. It’s also important for the following reasons:
- Employers ask for this number as they will use it in their accounting department to report your income to the IRS and report Social Security wages to the SSA.
- Your employer also use your SSN for state income tax reporting unless the state you’re working in doesn’t have an income tax.
- Employers can use the E-Verify System. This is a program that verifies if employees can legally work in the US by matching their SSN to their identity. You need your SSN before you can start working for them.
Here are other situations where you will need your SSN:
If you will open an account at a financial institution in the US
Since the 1970s, the federal government made it a requirement for banks to get the SSN of their customers or their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The financial institutions will use this information to:
- Run a check on your credit
- Report your investment income, interest, and losses to the IRS
- Report the interest you’ve made in your tax-deductible mortgage to the IRS
- Manage your accounts
Some financial institutions also accept your ITIN, which you can obtain from the IRS.
If you apply for a federal loan
If you plan to apply for a federal loan, you need to provide your SSN. The government will use this to make sure you’re eligible for this loan. For instance, to gain eligibility for a federal loan:
- You shouldn’t have any other existing federal loans
- You should have eligible visitor status or citizenship
- If you’re a male applicant, you must have registered with the Selective Service
If you apply for some types of public assistance
Public Assistance programs like Social Security or unemployment benefits are generally managed by state or federal government agencies. When applying, you need to provide your SSN. They will use this number to make sure that you aren’t claiming benefits that you aren’t entitled to.
If you enroll in Medicare
The SSA coordinates with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to enroll applicants in Medicare. If you will enroll, you need to provide your SSN.
If you apply for a passport
It’s a Federal Law requirement to provide your SSN when applying for a passport in the US. If you don’t have an SSN, you need to provide a sworn statement that you never obtained one.
If you apply for your tax return
The IRS needs your SSN to match the income you state on your tax return against the income financial institutions and your employer report paying you. If you have a child, you need to provide the SSN of your child to claim them as your dependent when filing your tax return.
If you apply for a driver’s license
Most states require you to provide your SSN when you apply for a driver’s license. If you aren’t a citizen and you don’t have an SSN but you need to apply for a license for your work, you’re exempted from providing this requirement. The same applies in other situations where you would need your SSN.
The government doesn’t issue SSNs to non-citizens who aren’t legally allowed to work in the US. Even credit companies and banks won’t require the provision of an SSN if customers don’t have one. The issue you might face is that financial institutions cannot run a credit check on you. Therefore, it could make things difficult for you to get a loan or apply for a credit card if you don’t have an SSN.
What is a Social Security Number verification letter?
A Social Security verification letter is also known as a ” social security award letter,” a “proof of income letter,” or a “benefits letter.” You can use it for:
- Proof of your disability, retirement, Medicare benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Loans, mortgages, housing assistance, and other purposes that require income verification.
- Proof that you don’t receive benefits, you haven’t applied for benefits, or you have never received Social Security benefits in the past.
Aside from the usual information like your full name, date of birth, and the benefits you received, this letter includes other identifying information to prevent fraud or misuse.
Benefits Award Letters
An SSN search on the SSA database will verify that your name, date of birth, and SSN all match your application. This service works with the Social Security Number Trace of the SSA. It allows employers to match your details with the records of the SSA. One of the most important uses of an SSN verification or a benefits award letter is when you need to perform W-2 wage reporting to the IRS. The letter ensures that the records of your former and current employers are all accurate.
The SSN verification process is very important to employers as it helps them avoid additional costs for processing when they get records that don’t match. The search determines if an SSN is either active or not. Should this process indicate an inactive response, it means that the person assigned with the number is already deceased. If the name or SSN doesn’t match the records of the SSA, they would give an employee the following recommendations:
- The response doesn’t imply that the employee provided inaccurate information about their name or SSN intentionally.
- The response doesn’t include a statement about the immigration status of the employee.
- The response isn’t the only basis for employers to take any negative action against the employee like terminating their employment, suspending them, or discriminating against them in any way.
As an employee, you should learn how to use the E-Verify system if you want to verify your authorization to work in the US. Do this if you entered the country with a working visa and you want to make sure. The E-Verify System is an online system hosted by the SSA and the Department of Homeland Security. When you use it, you instantly get verification if you’re allowed to work in the USA legally.
One of the biggest misconceptions that employers have with this system is that verification of an SSN will mean that an employee is legally authorized to work. But the search will only verify the identity of the SSN provided but not the legal authorization to work.
How do I get my Social Security Number verification letter?
The Social Security Number verification letter is a legal document that defines your Social Security benefits, Medicare Coverage, or Supplemental Security Income. You can use this in cases when you will need proof of disability or income. This proof is usually required when you apply for loans like a mortgage or if you want to apply for government assistance like energy assistance or subsidized housing. You can request this letter by:
- Creating or logging into your My Social Security account online.
- Click the link that says “Get a Benefit Verification Letter.”
- Click the link that says “Customize Your Letter.”
- Choose the information you wish to include.
- Click “Apply to Letter.”
- Select if you wish to print your letter or save a copy to your computer.
Another way to request this letter is by calling the SSA or contacting your local Social Security office. However, most local Social Security offices don’t allow walk-in visits because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the best way to get your letter is either by phone or online. If you have an emergency situation where you need to claim your benefits right away or you need to update the information associated with your SSN, your local Social Security office may grant you an appointment in person.
This letter goes by different names. Remember that this verification letter isn’t the same as a benefit or disability award letter. The latter is a notice that the SSA will send you after processing your application. This is the time when they award your benefits. If you want to request a copy of the original award letter, contact the Social Security office by calling them.
How long does it take to get a verification letter from Social Security?
If you’re required to show proof that you’re getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, or Social Security benefits, you can request a benefit verification letter from the SSA online by using your online Social Security account. This letter is also called a “proof of income letter,” a “proof of award letter,” or a “benefits letter.” You can obtain proof from the SSA that you have never received SSI or Social Security benefits. It will also serve as proof that you have applied for these benefits.
To create an account or sign in to your existing account, go to Create An Account or Sign In. This enables you to view your letter, print it out, or save it to your computer. If you have an existing application or you have received benefits, you have the choice to request a copy of the letter mailed to you. You get the letter within 10 business days. The SSA will send the letter to the mailing address you have registered in your account.
If you didn’t update your address in the records of the SSA and you apply for Social Security benefits, you need to update your address first through your My Social Security account. You can also contact the SSA to update your mailing address. If you receive benefits, you need to contact the SSA to update your address too. Remember that you cannot get this letter online for another person like your child or spouse unless the person is a beneficiary for whom you’re a representative payee.