Social Security Numbers (SSN) permit individuals to work in the country and grant them access to banks, credits cards, and other financial services. SSNs can also help some people to claim their Social Security disability benefits and get admissions to some colleges. Therefore, the need for a SS card goes without saying.
Any person who wants to do anything in the US needs to understand that there are three types of cards they could be eligible to. They include unrestricted, restricted, and non-work cards. The government issues them to individuals based on certain qualifications, for example, permanent and temporary residents.
The type of card one receives determines the kind of benefits they would enjoy in the country. However, non-US citizens, especially temporary immigrants, could get cards that grant them access to limited services or benefits. For instance, they may not receive comprehensive medical coverage.
- Unrestricted Card
The federal government issues unrestricted cards to eligible citizens of the US and permanent residents (those who have green cards). These types of cards do not have annotations. Additionally, these cards have SSNs and cardholders’ names on them.
Unrestricted cards confer special benefits to those who receive them. These card holders can work freely for any employer in the country without seeking permission from any government agency. They also allow individuals to earn Social Security credits. Such credits qualify holders for retirement and disability benefits.
- Restricted Card
These cards also have SSNs and cardholders’ names. As an addition, they have annotations reading, “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH USCIS AUTHORIZATION.” The government issues such cards to temporary employees (like H1 and L1 workers) who work for sponsoring employers.
Such cards have some restrictions. For instance, holders cannot access employment if they only present List B and C documents to their potential employers. However, if they present List A documents, they do not require their cards. Their SSNs are sufficient to secure employment.
- Non-Work Card
Non-work cards have annotations that read, “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.” People who receive these cards are non-US citizens who need SSNs for some special purposes. For instance, the law requires some workers (such as those legally residing in the country) to receive particular benefits and services.
How To Apply
Whichever card one requires, they must apply with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Obtaining a card through SSA is free. The process seems straightforward at the beginning. However, first-time applicants often find it confusing, time-consuming, taxing, or even fruitless later on.
A single error in the social security card application process can result in delays or even denial of the card. SSA also requires applicants to present supplemental documents before commencing the application process. If an applicant misses one document or provides an incorrect one, the administration may cancel the whole process.
For hassle-free applications, people should engage third-party organizations. Though they charge a small fee for their services, the organizations make the process easier for applicants. Form the start to the end; the process can be effortless and seamless.
The organizations fill out SS-5 forms for applicants in a convenient and timely manner. They also offer customer support throughout the application process. Those who would like to consider this option should look for affordable, reliable, and licensed companies.