Personal Finance

How to get a Social Security Number for your baby

Social security number in United States is a federal government’s way of identifying a resident – his reference handle the government keeps to know and keep track of every individual staying or residing within its limits. The social security number is required for a person to apply for a job, social security benefits, to apply for driving license, insurance, passport, in banks, and many other government services. The number is applicable for citizens as well as non-citizens residing in US.

From the foregoing, it is imperative that all people staying within the boundary of US need a social security number. And your new born child is no different. He/she requires a social security number as way of identification for the federal government. Let us see how you could obtain one for your new born baby.

The easiest way to apply for a social security number for your child is by checking the relevant box while filling the birth registration form. The request may also need both the parent’s social security number as well. For most parent’s, obtaining a birth registration form will be easier as infirmaries always distribute one when the mother is being admitted to the hospital for maternity care.

But if you failed to fill and submit the form due to some reasons or the child had been delivered not in the hospital, still you can apply for a social security number by visiting your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and request for a number in person. The process involves,

  • The parent completing the application for social security (SS-5). It can be downloaded from the SSA website.
  • Furnishing at least two documents providing the baby’s age, identity and citizenship. Of the records, it is mandatory to have the baby’s birth certificate as one record. Others can be the hospital birth record or medical record.
  • The application also requires the parent to submit his/her passport or driving license as a valid proof for identification.

Though the application can be send by post to SSA, you may need to furnish the originals or certified copies of the documents at a later stage. Hence, it is always better to apply for social security number for your child in person.

Once the application for social security number is submitted, you should be receiving the Social Security card within 6-12 weeks. It can take a bit longer if the child is one year or older.

If the child is the one you are adopting and if he/she is a US citizen, the child will be already having a social security number. If the child had been adopted domestically and he/she does not have a SSN, you can obtain an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) as an interim measure to claim child-related tax breaks while your child’s adoption is pending. It is valid for two years and can be extended it if the adoption is yet to be finalized. Once adoption is complete, the use of ATIN should be stopped and a SSN number should be applied as briefed above.

If the baby had been adopted from a foreign country, one need to wait until the child enters US before applying for a SSN.