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Baby's First Number -- A Social Security Number

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Getting your child a Social Security number should be near the top of the list of things you need to do as a new parent. Your child's Social Security number is just the beginning of the valuable protection and benefits he or she may be eligible for in the future.

Applying for a Social Security card and number for your newborn is voluntary. But, your child needs a Social Security number if you plan to-

  • Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return;
  • Open a bank account;
  • Buy savings bonds;
  • Obtain medical coverage; or
  • Apply for some kind of government services for your child.

You can apply when the baby is born or you can wait until later. It's easy to apply at birth. When you give the information for your baby's birth certificate, you'll be asked if you want to apply for a Social Security number for your baby. If you say "yes," you'll need to provide both parents' Social Security numbers. We'll assign your baby a number and mail the Social Security card directly to you.

What Every Parent Should Know about Social Security
Baby's First Number
Who Can Get Benefits
How Much Work You Need for Benefits for Your Children
Benefits for Grandchildren
Benefits for Disabled Children
Parents May Qualify for Benefits
Using Social Security for Planning Family Financial Security

How to Apply

If you wait to apply for your baby's number, you can click here to get an application, call us at our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213, or visit one of our offices (click here to find your nearest office).


What You Will Need

  • Fill out an application (you need to provide both parents' Social Security numbers).
  • Show evidence of your child's age, identity and citizenship. We need two documents, one for age and one for identity. In addition, you may need evidence of citizenship. Click here for a list of acceptable documents.
  • Show evidence of your identity.

There is never a charge for a Social Security card and number. Keep your baby's Social Security card in a safe place. It's an important document. If you lose the card, we'll replace it at no charge.

  Social Security has a toll-free number that operates from 7a.m. to 7p.m., Monday to Friday: 1-800-772-1213 If you have a touch-tone phone, recorded information and services are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free "TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Please have your Social Security number handy when you call us.

Or you could visit us: click here to find your Social Security office address.
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Last reviewed or modified Wednesday Jul 02, 2008
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