How To Get Your New Baby’s or Older Child’s Social Security Number

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According to the Social Security Administration, the easiest time to get your newborn a Social Security number is while you are still at the hospital, when you give information for your child’s birth certificate. If you wait longer, you will have to apply for a number at a Social Security office, which could result in delays while the birth certificate is verified. 

See: Your 2021 Baby Makes You Eligible for the Child Tax Credit
Find: How To Live Richer as a New Parent

The Social Security Administration states that you will need a Social Security number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return each year. A Social Security number is also important if you plan to:

  • Open a bank account for your child
  • Buy savings bonds for the child
  • Get medical coverage for the child
  • Apply for government services for the child

At the Hospital

When you give information for your child’s birth certificate once the child is born, you will be asked if you want to apply for a Social Security number. If you answer “yes” you will be asked to provide both parents’ Social Security numbers. The SSA’s “Social Security Numbers for Children” guide states that even if you don’t know both parents’ Social Security numbers, you can still apply for a number for your child at the hospital.

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See: Social Security — How to Keep Your Info Safe With a ‘mySocialSecurity’ Account
Find: Study Suggests Paid Paternity Leave Would Reduce Inequality Among Income Classes

At The Social Security Office

If you did not apply for a Social Security number at the same time you filled out the information for the child’s birth certificate, you can do so later at a Social Security office. In this case, you must:

  • Complete an application for a Social Security card
  • Show original documents proving your child’s:
    • U.S. Citizenship
    • Age
    • Identity
  • Show documents proving your identity and your relationship to the child

Any child 12 years of age or older who requests an original Social Security number must appear in person for an interview, even if a parent or guardian will sign the application on the child’s behalf.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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