Although many places will ask for your social security number, you don't have to give it out, such as the phone company or gas and electric company, and hospitals. Does anybody know where one can find a list of those times when you absolutely need to give it out?
By Lynn from Albany, NY
To get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. But you don't often need to show your Social Security card. Do not carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers. good luck.
I give it to Federal, State and Municipal agencies and Financial Institutions that have to report relative tax information. I don't give it out to misc. companies. Too much information in this day of 'identity theft'. Use your best judgment.
I don't know where you can find an all inclusive listing. I agree with the others that it should only be necessary for tax and job type purposes.
Some health insurance companies used to use it as your policy number but I think that practice has been stopped with the identity theft rise. So you shouldn't even be asked for it at your doctor's office anymore.
Tracey in Jacksonville FL
I had been wondering about this recently myself so I looked it up. Very few legally have a right to require it.
Who has the right to ask for your digits?
While any business or agency can ask for your number, few can actually demand it -- motor vehicle departments, tax departments and welfare departments, for example. Also, SSNs are required for transactions involving taxes, so that means banks, brokerages, employers, and the like also have a legitimate need for your SSN.
Most other businesses have no legal right to demand your number.
Your employer needs your Social Security number to pay you and your bank needs it to comply with federal law, but very few other places actually need it. Your credit card company doesn't. Nor does your doctor, unless you're on Medicare or Medicaid. And the phone company? Most certainly not.
Financial institutions are the only group other than employers required by law to collect your SSN.
Be careful with your Social Security card and number
Show your card to your employer when you start a job so your records are correct. Provide your Social Security number to your financial institution(s) for tax reporting purposes. Keep your card and any other document that shows your Social Security number on it in a safe place. DO NOT routinely carry your card or other documents that display your number.
Its primary purpose is to track individuals for TAXATION purposes....
The Social Security Administration has suggested that, if asked to provide his or her Social Security number, a citizen should ask which law requires its use.
You need a Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. But you don't often need to show your Social Security card. Do not carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.
I work at a doctors office and we ask for it. the insurance companies want it when we get a preauthorization even tho we give them the dob and the patient member number they always ask for the social sec #. when we send anything to the lab for testing they also ask for it and the work comes back if it doesn't have it. ?
Doctor's offices ask for it because most insurance companies still use it as the ID number, and it must be on forms in order to get reimbursement or payment. Doctors and hospitals also use it to take patients to court/ collection for unpaid bills. If you refuse to give it, you must pay cash for everything. Colleges and universities also keep it in student's records. It is how they track bills, post payments, track scholarships, class schedules, library loans, etc; however, they are no longer able to print the number on student ID cards, etc. Some states still use it as your driver's license number. If you request a different number, you will be given one, but if you lose your license and request a new one, your SS number will be posted on it.
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