The most important document in America: what you cannot do without in the States - ForumDaily
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The Most Important Document in America: What You Can't Do Without in the States

Our people are used to the fact that the main document is always a passport, but in the United States the situation is a little different. Author blog "The immigrant alphabet" on "Yandex.Zen" told which document is the most important in the States.

Photo: Shutterstock

Next - from the first person.

Not everyone has a passport in the USA. In fact, it is needed here only for international tourism. Inside the country, people usually use a driver’s license (driver license). Since domestic tourism is well developed in the United States, many people in their lives do not leave the country without a passport.

But without what kind of document life in the USA is impossible, it’s a social security number (SSN).

What is an SSN?

This is a unique nine-digit combination that is assigned to a person.

Initially, this system was needed in order to quickly and accurately track all payments for each person.

The card with SSN itself is unremarkable: the size is like a regular credit card, a cardboard card. A number that is valuable is one that everyone carefully keeps and doesn’t tell anyone.

Who is eligible to get SSN
  1. Citizens (receive immediately after birth)
  2. Green Card Holders;
  3. Holders of work visas;
  4. Holders of a work permit (which must be obtained if the visa was originally not for work, for example, when a person came on a travel visa and applied for political asylum);
  5. Holders of student visas (F-1 or M-1);
  6. Participants in exchange programs (J-1 or J-2).
Why SSN is needed
  • When a person gets a job so that the employer can report to the tax office about his income;
  • To receive any kind of benefits (pension, unemployment, etc.);
  • When a person fills out a tax return;
  • When a person opens a bank account (only some banks can open an account without SSN);
  • In the case of a loan or mortgage;
  • To identify and verify credit history;
  • For the purchase of medical insurance (you can buy without it, but then for the full cost and it can not then be deducted from taxes);
  • When renting a home (not in all states, but the homeowner may request an SSN to check your credit history);
  • In the civil service, military registration, etc.

And the list goes on.

On the subject: What to do if your social security number is stolen

An SSN is a unique number, a “bar code,” for each person. It is the SSN that allows you to always confirm your identity. For example, when you call a bank/insurance company or other institutions, the employee who answers you must be sure that it is you. Therefore, he can ask for the last four digits of the SSN - this is not the entire number, but it helps with identification.

What happens if the SSN is stolen

Cases of identity theft are not uncommon. For example, from the last one. When the IRS sent out $1200 per adult and $500 per child, the key factor was having an SSN. This is what the scammers used. They called the person, introduced themselves as social service employees, said that they were processing payments, and for this they needed the person’s data, including SSN. With this data, they filed “zero” tax returns (that is, they did not earn anything for the year), but indicated their account number. This is how the scammers received the money due to others.

My friend’s ex-husband indicated her social security number in the tax return, as a result of which he received money both for himself and her. She didn’t get anything.

In such a situation, you need to urgently contact the Social Security Administration - they will take action.

How to get SSN

There are two options:

  • At registration of the status in the USA, when the DS-260 form or application for a work permit is filled out (Form I-765). In these documents you just need to check the box that you need SSN.
  • The second option is to go to the Social Security Administration. There an application is filled out, and within 7-10 days the person receives his SSN by mail.

Honestly, I can’t imagine how you can live without SSN in the States. He is needed everywhere.

Is it convenient? Yes! You do not need to carry it with you like a passport. It is important to remember the numbers and that’s it.

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