The Social Security Number, also referred to as the SSN, is a nine-digit number issued by the government to all of its citizens. This is living proof that you are a citizen and a resident of the United States of America. Moreover, your SSN is also used as a means for the government to track your lifetime earnings including the number of years you have worked.
The reason why there is a need to track it in the first place is because when you retire, or when the time comes for you to receive your Social Security disability income, the U.S. government will use the data retrieved by your SSN to determine not only your eligibility but also the benefit payments that you will be receiving in relation to your total amount of contributions over the years.
Do note that the same SSN will be used by an individual throughout their entire lives. However, there are some rare cases when they would need to apply for a replacement number at some point due to certain reasons like identity theft.
Why Do You Need a Social Security Number (SSN)?
To make this guide more cohesive, it is important that you know the reason for getting an SSN. Anytime you land a new job, your employer will always ask for your SSN as they would need this number to report your Social Security wages to the Social Security Administration and your income to the Internal Revenue Service.
In addition, your employer will also use your SSN as a means to report state income tax unless the state you are working in doesn’t require tax. Employers who plan on participating in E-Verify must also have their Social Security Number. E-Verify is a program that ensures an individual can legally work in the United States of America.
How to Change Work Status On Social Security Card
The application for a Social Security Number is simple yet it demands a number of documents proving who you are. Nonetheless, if there is a need to change or update any of the information on your Social Security card, you would need to present further documents validating the said change.
Most of the documents required to be presented to the Social Security Administration heavily deals with your identity. With that in mind, here’s how you can change your work status on your Social Security card. Furthermore, this guide will also provide you with the necessary documents to be presented.
1. Gather all of the necessary documents to be presented to the Social Security Administration
The very first step to ensuring that you have a successful process of changing your work status on your Social Security card is gathering all of the required documents. These documents will be proof of your:
- Department of Homeland Security Work Authorization
- Immigration Status
When it comes to the Evidence of Identity, you can provide any of the following:
- Your U.S. Driver’s License
- Your U.S. Passport
- Your U.S. State-Issued Non-Driver Identity Card
In the case that you do not possess any of these identification documents, or cannot acquire a replacement SS card within 10 working days, the Social Security Administration may accept other documents that show your legal name and biographical information. Some of the identification documents that may be put under this category are as follows:
- Your U.S. Military Identity Card
- Your Certificate of Naturalization
- Your Employee Identity Card
- A Certified Copy of Your Medical Record (whether it be from a clinic, doctor, or hospital)
- Your Health Insurance Card
- Your Medicaid Card
- Your School Identity Record
- Your School Identity Card
On another note, young children can present their medical records from either a clinic, doctor, or hospital; these can be accepted provided that it is maintained by the medical provider. In the case of adoption, the Social Security Administration may accept a final adoption decree, school records maintained by the school, or a school identity card.
Here are the documents you can present as Evidence of Age:
As a rule, you must always present your birth certificate first. However, in some situations that the applicant cannot provide their birth certificate, the Social Security Administration may accept any of the following documents:
- Hospital Record of Your Birth; this should be created at the time of your birth.
- Religious Record; this should have been established before the age of five which shows your date of birth and age.
- Your U.S. Passport
- A Final Adoption Decree; this adoption decree should show the applicant’s birth information which was originally taken from the birth certificate.
Here are the documents you can present as Evidence of U.S. Citizenship:
The primary documents considered by the Social Security Administration for the Evidence of U.S. Citizenship are your U.S. birth certificate and your U.S. passport. On the other hand, you can provide your Consular Report of Birth, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship.
Here are the documents you can present as Evidence of Immigration Status:
You must present the official document given to you by the Department of Homeland Security. These documents include your Form I-551, I-766, or your I-94.
2. Fill out the Application for Change Work Status on Social Security Card
The next steps you would need to undergo is filling out the application for a Social Security card which can be accessed through the official website of the Social Security Administration. Do note that this application process is free of charge. We are not affiliated with the Social Security Administration in any way. If you would like to complete this process from the comfort of your own home feel free to use our application filing assistant to avoid costly errors and long wait times.
Furthermore, this application form is known as Form SS-5. This is used to apply for an original Social Security card, to change or correct any information that may have been inputted previously on your SS card, and to apply for a replacement SS card.
When it comes to the steps on how to change your work status on your Social Security card, you must present documents that prove your identity, must support the requested change, as well as establish the reason for why you are changing it. Moreover, do note that these process steps do not only pertain to a change in work status, it can also pertain to a change in name, citizenship, or even to correct your date of birth.
This second step requires a great deal of time and effort to ensure that your request will be approved by the Social Security Administration. For example: when it comes to the documents needed to support a name change, the applicant should present documents which must identify them by both their old name and new name.
In this case, if the name change happened two years ago, or if there is a lack of documents supporting the name change, you can also provide documents that will prove your identity in your prior name as well as cases of your new legal name.
3. Take Note of the Limits on the Replacement of Social Security Cards
Do note that for security purposes, the Social Security Administration has certain limits when it comes to the replacement of an SS card. According to Public Law 108 – 458, there should be a limit on the number of replacement SS cards you may receive. In a calendar year, you must only request for an SS card replacement three times. On another note, you can request for an SS card replacement for about 10 times in a lifetime.
However, if you are applying for a change in work status or even a change in your legal name, these limits may not be applied. Other exceptions that the Social Security Administration may surpass when it comes to an SS card replacement include cases wherein you can provide proof from an official source that there is a need to establish a new Social Security card.