How are social security numbers assigned?

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Some facts about social security numbers

If you live in the United States, the nine digits that comprise your Social Security number (SSN) may be the most important numbers in your life. Have you ever wondered how you got your specific sequence of numbers and how the whole history of social security numbers began?  It is one of those things that stays with us all of our lives from the time we start our first job until …well, until we pass on to that social security heaven in the great beyond. Still you might ask: How are social security numbers assigned?

The social security government program was established in 1935 as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s progressive New Deal legislation. According to historians, the program was originally titled: the Economic Security Act. The term, “Social Security” was coined by activist, Abraham Epstein, who led a group called the American Association for Social Security. While the Social Security Act did not specify the use of numbered cards, it did call for the formation of a record-keeping plan.

Social security provides old age, disability, and survivors insurance, as well as supplemental income, for elderly or disabled people. The social security card has become a standard component of a person’s identity and is mandatory for obtaining some of life’s most important documents; namely, passports and birth certificates.

How are social security numbers assigned and what do the numbers mean?

The answer to the question of how are social security cards assigned is regionally and in batches. They are not issued in consecutive order, as many people believe. The nine-digit number, which has been used in more than 400 million different sequences, is divided into three parts: area numbers, group numbers and serial numbers. Looking at each section separately will render an answer to the question of how are social security numbers assigned.

Area numbers

At one time, the first three numbers represented the state in which a person applied for a Social Security card. Number sequence began in the east and moved westward, giving those living on the east coast the lowest numbers and those on the west coast the highest numbers. This changed in 1972 when the zip code on the original application form became the new means of assignation.

Group numbers

These are the two middle digits of the social security number and they range from 01 through 99. Their purpose is to break up all the social security numbers in the same area into smaller blocks for the sake of administration. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), odd numbers ranging from 01-09 are issued first and the even numbers from 10 through 98 within each area number assigned to each state. When all of the numbers of a specific area have been used, the even groups 02-98 are utilized, followed by odd number groups 11-99.

Serial numbers

Answering the question of how are social security numbers assigned involves an understanding of the last four digits in the sequence. These are serial numbers within each group designation. They run consecutively from 0001 through 9999.

What happens if your social security card is stolen?

Identity theft is a growing problem and if thieves have your social security number, you better do something fast! You need to fill out a Form SS-5, which you can get from the SSA web site. Your new number will be the same as your old number, but to get a replacement card you will need to have significant proof of identity. It is very rare  (only in the event of identity fraud or stalking) for the SSA assign a person a new number.

The question of how are social security cards assigned has specific answers but they are not well known by the mainstream populace. There is a great deal to learn about the Social Security program and the question of how are social security numbers assigned is just one aspect.

 Social security is an important part of our lives.

 Learn more about it as it is in your interest to do so.

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