Understanding Social Security Number


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Social Security numbers are issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to all US citizens and permanent residents. Ideally, you know where your Social Security card is and can check it if you can't remember your number. However, if you've misplaced your Social Security card and don't remember your number, you may be able to find it on another document. If you don't have your Social Security card, apply for a replacement as soon as possible so you don't have to worry about forgetting your number again.

Look for old tax returns. You are required to enter your Social Security number on your tax returns. If you have copies of old returns, you can find your Social Security number there.
  • If you used a website to file your taxes, you can usually download a copy of your tax return from the website as long as you remember the username and password you used.
  • You could order a copy of an old tax return from the IRS. However, you'd have to put your Social Security number on the order form, so if you don't know your Social Security number, this option won't do you any good.