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What should I do if I lose my Social Security card?

The SSA now operates a system that allows people to request a new card online, but six states are still yet to offer the service to residents.

Can I get a one-off Social Security payment?

A Social Security Number is a vital piece of identification which is often required to find a job, collect benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), and to enrol in various government programmes and services.

In most instances, simply knowing your number is enough but most people will have also received a Social Security card with their name and Social Security Number on it. If you lose your card and wish the request a replacement then you can do so, but the exact process varies in certain states.

What to do if you lose your Social Security card

A new system introduced by the SSA allows users to request a new Social Security card using a free online portal. The majority of states have taken advantage of the system and allow residents to claim a new card online, but six states are still yet to do so. The online system is available for those who are simply requesting a new card, and do not need to change any details on your account.

To utilise the online system you must be:

- A US citizens aged 18 or older

- Contactable with a US mailing address

- In possession of a driver’s license or identification card from a participating state

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To take advantage of the online replacement card request, you simply need to:

- Log into your My Social Security online account

- Select the blue Replacement Documents link on the right

- Select Request a Replacement Card

- Verify your personal details as prompted, and select Next

- Enter your personal details under the heading Identity Verification

Your request will then be verified and processed, and you should receive your new card in the next 14 business days.

The process requires a My Social Security account, which can easily be set one up online if you know your Social Security number. This short video from the SSA outlines how the system works and various features which should make receiving Social Security support even easier.

Six states still do not allow online Social Security card request

The online system makes the process of requesting a new Social Security card much easier, but a small group of states are still yet to offer the option to residents. These states do not allow residents to request a new card online:

  • Alaska
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia

If you are a resident in these states then you will have an in-person service operated from your local Social Security offices, which will allow you to request a new card.

The same is also true if your identification card or driver’s license was issued in a United States territory, such as American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.


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