By Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Welcoming a baby to your family is an exciting time. Doing paperwork, even for something as important as a Social Security number for your newborn, is probably one of the last things you want to do. We’ve made it easy. If your child is born in a hospital, the most convenient way to apply for a Social Security number is at that hospital before you leave.
When you give information for your child’s birth certificate at the hospital, you’ll be asked whether you want to apply for a Social Security number for your child. If you answer “yes,” you will be asked to provide both parents’ Social Security numbers. Even if you don’t know both parents’ Social Security numbers, you can still apply for a number for your child.
There are many reasons why your child should have a Social Security number. You need a Social Security number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return. You may also need a number for your child if you plan to do the following for your child:
- Open a bank account.
- Buy savings bonds.
- Get medical coverage.
- Apply for government services.
You can find more information by reading Social Security Numbers for Children at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10023.pdf.
Please share this information with people who are having a baby. Applying for a Social Security number at the hospital will save them time and let them focus on their new bundle of joy.
Vonda Van Til is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org