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How do I get my child a Social Security number?

It is a good idea to get the number when your child is born. You can apply for a Social Security number for your baby when you apply for your baby’s birth certificate. The state agency that issues birth certificates will share your child’s information with us. they will mail the Social Security card to you.

Or, you can wait and apply at any Social Security office. If you wait, you must provide evidence of your child’s age, identity and U.S. citizenship status, as well as proof of your identity. they must verify your child’s birth record, which can add up to 12 weeks to the time it takes to issue a card. To verify a birth record, Social Security will contact the office that issued it.

Anyone age 12 or older requesting an original Social Security number card must appear for an interview at a Social Security office, even if a parent or guardian will sign the application on the child’s behalf.

Adoption: they can assign your adopted child a number before the adoption is complete, but you may want to wait. Then, you can apply for the number using your child’s new name. If you want to claim your child for tax purposes while the adoption is still pending, contact the Internal Revenue Service for Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. For more information, see Social Security Numbers For Children (Publication No. 05-10023).


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There are 13 Comments

I applied for my son's SSN at the hospital when he was born but the card never came even after 3 months. What do I have to do??

I have two children. Both of their Social Security cards or lost. I need to replace them but dont know what is acceptable for identification for a 7 and 4 year old. I have their birth certificates but apparently that isnt enough?

It sounds like I might have the same problem as you. My baby is now 3.. months and 2 weeks and he still hasn't received anything. What did u do? Did you contact the social security office? Do you know if we can go to any of the offices or do we need to go to the county in which he was born?

I understand that it takes 5 weeks or so to receive a new ss # for a newborn after applying from the hospital. But for my newborn to be covered under my insurance I only have 30 days to get them her ss number. How can I get this number asap I only have 7 days left before the times up or she will not be covered.

I was living and working overseas and recently moved back to the US. I applied for a SS card for my three children who were born outside of the US but all of whom are US citizens. I applied at the locals SS office and provided passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad and my children were present as well. We never received the card and when we checked with SS they said we have to provide either school records or hospital records from abroad. This is very difficult to do and I was wondering why this is needed and if it is even correct. I provided documentation proving age, identity and citizenship, shouldn't this be enough? I try calling but no one answers or returns my call and since we have moved it is very difficult to get to SS office where we applied and the local SS office where we are now living said they can't help and we have to go to the office where we applied. Sorry for the long post...any suggestions?

Thank you for your reply and the link to the post. It seems the person was/is in a similar situation. But it doesn't really help. I would like to know exactly what are they trying to establish, maybe then it would be easier for me to see if I could obtain anything that would satisfy their requirements. They're asking for school or medical records which are not available. Our children were doing homeschooling through a course that is registered in the US and they don't really have any medical records as we just visited clinics every once in a while for the usual cold/flu etc., and even that, if it could be obtained, would probably be insufficient as the clinic would usually just scribble down the first name and initial of the last name at best, so it is very difficult if not impossible to obtain any records. I have the US passport, Counsular Report of Birth Abroad and Original Foreign Birth Certificate. I dont really know what more I can provide. Is there anyone or any address/contact with SS that I can look into this with. It doesn't make any sense as the way I see it, they are US Citizens and have the right to a SS number. Thank you again for your reply, any further ifo or advice would be greatly appreciated.

My daughter had a baby boy on July 1, 2011 unfortunately he passed away in just a little over an hour after he was born. She was recently told that she had to get a SS# for him and she had to claim him on her tax return. Can anyone verify if this is true or if she is allowed to do this? If she can or should do this how can she get a number for him in time to claim him on her taxes? She has a birth certificate for him from the hospital but never received anything from SS for him.

Any help, information or advise would be greatly appreciated

Please contact the SSA regarding this, but I see no requirement for obtaining a Social Security number for a deceased newborn. The SSA itself states, "The main reason you should get a Social Security number is to claim your baby as a dependent on your income tax return."

So this is more of an admonition than a requirement.

Also, please see the following from IRS Publication 501 for 2011 returns :

If your child was born and died in 2011, and you do not have an SSN for the child, you may attach a copy of the child’s birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records instead. The document must show the child was born alive. If you do this, enter "DIED" in column (2) of line 6c of your Form 1040 or Form 1040A.

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