In 1998, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began a new policy of helping battered women acquire new Social Security Numbers (SSNs). If the SSA representative at the Social Security office is not aware of the current policy for assigning new SSNs in domestic violence situations, refer the representative to Program Operations Manual System chapter RM 00205.
You must apply for a new SSN in person at any Social Security office. You can find the nearest office in your local phone book, on the Social Security Administration website www.ssa.gov, or by calling 1.800.772.1213.
The SSA office will help you complete:
- A statement explaining why you need a new number, and
- An application for a new number
You will need to present:
- Original documents establishing your age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or lawful alient status, such as a birth certificate and a driver's license;
- One or more documents identifying you by BOTH your old and new names (e.g., a copy of the clerk's order);
- Evidence you may have documenting the domestic abuse (e.g. police or medical reports, protective order, letters from a shelter, family member, friend, or others who have knowledge of the domestic violence); and
- If you are requesting nes SSNs for your children, you will need to present evidence that you have legal custody of the children.
*BE ADVISED: Changing your identity, including your SSN, may have certain negative impacts, including:
• Inability to get a passport due to the lack of having a birth certificate under your new identity
• Difficulties or delays in receiving federal/state benefits, such as disability, SSI
• Difficulty trying to prove past abuse if past medical records and court papers are in a different name
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