social security number

Why Do I Need A Social Security Number For A Child

There are many reasons you might need a social security number for your child. It can affect everything from your tax breaks to your child’s future retirement. These things can be beneficial for the family as a whole, but there are specific reasons to obtain the number that benefit your child.

Here are some of the reasons you need to make sure you have a current social security card for your child.

Your Tax Breaks

If you are looking to claim for all the dependents in your family, you will need their social security numbers to do so. The IRS is checking that no one else is claiming for the child and that yours is a legitimate application.

Your Child’s Health Insurance Plan

Img source:

It is possible to obtain health insurance for children without a social security number. However, this is usually applicable to those born outside of the USA. If your health insurance company of choice requests your child’s social security number, it is best that you get it as early as possible. If you fail to do so and there comes a need for you to claim on their behalf, you might not be able to do so.

Government Benefits

Parents with disabled children will need to fill in the relevant form if they are requesting supplemental security income benefits. This will involve filling in both parents’ social security numbers, as well as the number of your child. His/her birth certificate is necessary to support your application.

This is a big reason why you always need to have your social security details to hand. If you are in urgent need of your details and do not have the relevant information, you can apply online. Using a third party will help with accuracy, as well as with any pressing questions you might have. These include the likes of, “where to mail my social security card application,” and “what documents do I need to send?”

College Savings Account

Img source:

A 529 savings account is something that many parents start for their children from an early age. Without their social security number, you won’t be able to open an account. Some parents open a 529 in their name when their child is unborn and change it to the child’s later.

Bank Account

To open a bank or savings account in your child’s name, you will need both yours and their social security number. Never give out your child’s social security number unless there is a legitimate need. If you suspect your child’s number has been used fraudulently, contact the relevant authorities to make sure it doesn’t escalate further.

These are the main circumstances where you will need to know your child’s social security number. Without it, you might have to wait sometime before you can open their savings account or update your family’s health insurance records.

Obtaining a Social Security Number for Your Adopted Child

Once your family has finalized the adoption process, consider applying for a social security number for your newly adopted child. This will make activities that require your child to have an SSN much easier to deal with. Note that you can obtain an SSN for the child even before completing the adoption process as well.

Obtaining an SSN for your adopted child is simple if you understand what the Social Security Administration expects. Let’s explore the process.

Why You Need an SSN for Your Adopted Child

When your child has a social security number, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Claim your child as dependent on your tax return
  • Obtain medical coverage for your child
  • Open a bank account for your child
  • Start an educational savings fund for your child
  • Apply for government benefits for your child

What if Your Child Already Has an SSN?

In the past, if a child understood that he/she was being adopted, he/she was not eligible for a new SSN if they had one already. This situation would sometimes result in miscommunications or an unhealthy exchange of information between the biological parents and the adoptive parents because of the fact that states at times identified parents using their SSN.

Today, however, the SSA allows you to obtain a new social security number for your adopted child. This is important to uphold confidentiality and to avert potential fraud or misuse. With a new SSN, you won’t worry about the unnecessary exchange of information with the child’s birth parents either.

If you are present at the time of the child’s birth, see if you can dissuade his/her birth mother from applying for the SSN when she’s completing the birth certificate application. Applying for the child’s first SSN is much easier and more convenient than changing it later.

source: fraud or misuse

Applying for Your Child’s SSN

You can’t apply for your adopted child’s SSN online. You have to visit your local Social Security office. Your child doesn’t have to accompany you though.

To save time, consider downloading Form SS-5 and completing it at home before visiting the SSA office. You can also find the form at the US Filing Services LLC social security application website. You’ll need to provide at least two documents to prove your child’s identity, age, and citizenship status.

You can provide the child’s birth certificate issued after finalizing the adoption, the child’s hospital birth record, or any other medical record that can prove his/her identity. You’ll also need to prove your own identity. You can provide your passport or driver’s license for that.


Be sure every document is an original or a certified copy. Photocopies will be rejected.

Submitting Your Application

Once you’ve filled out the application form as required and appended the required documentation, you should hand over the application at your local social security office. You should expect to receive your child’s social security card in 6 to 12 weeks.

It’s worth noting that you may have to wait a little longer if your child is at least one year old. The SSA has to ascertain the authenticity of your child’s birth certificate from your state’s Department of Vital Statistics.