By ELIZABETH PIVONKA
Getting your newborn a Social Security Number is important. If your child is born in a hospital, the easiest way to secure a Social Security Number is when you give information for your child’s birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, you may encounter delays while we verify your child’s birth certificate.
When you give information for your child’s birth certificate at the hospital, you’ll be asked whether you want to apply for a Social Security Number for your child. If you say “yes,” you need to provide both parents’ Social Security Numbers, if you can. Even if you don’t know both parents’ Social Security Numbers, you can still apply for a number for your child.
There are many reasons why your child should have a Social Security Number. You need a Social Security Number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return. Your child may also need a number if you plan to:
- Open a bank account for your child.
- Buy savings bonds for your child.
- Get medical coverage for your child.
- Apply for government services for your child.
You can read more about Social Security Numbers for children at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10023.pdf.
Share this information with people who are expecting a child. Applying for a Social Security card at the hospital will save them time and let them focus on the new member of their family.
The author is with the Social Security Administration in Albany.