Social Security Number.

Yesterday while I was doing my 666 research [not that big I know] I came across the Social Security History. I found it quite interesting. We all have one [US and its territory, etc] but I guess that we don’t really know or care where that freaking number came from or why we have it or use it. Now days it is very valuable as identity theft is everywhere this number have become our only or primary ID in the financial world.

I remember that when I was a child people gave their social security every were. Used it like it was just a normal number and no one said a thing. Now days to share your social security number is like a big No! No!  cause you can loose your identity and some one can pretend to be you, etc. Still we read a lot of the benefits, in work, school, banks they ask you for it and we have no clue of all the history of it. I wonder if it is because of pure ignorance or just because the government doesn’t inform us well [but I rather go for the ignorance].


Social Security number
main purpose was to track individuals’ accounts within the Social Security program. It has since come to be used as an identifier for individuals within the United States, although rare errors occur where duplicates do exist. Employee records, patient records, student records, and credit records are sometimes indexed by Social Security number. The U.S. military has used the Social Security number as an identification number for the Army and Air Force since July 1, 1969, the Navy and Marine Corps since January 1, 1972, and the Coast Guard since October 1, 1974.

The first SSNs were issued by the Social Security Administration in November 1936 as part of the New Deal Social Security program. Within three months, 25 million numbers were issued. Before 1986, people often did not have a Social Security number until the age of about 14, since they were used for income tracking purposes, and those under that age seldom had substantial income. In 1986, American taxation law was altered so that individuals over 5 years old without Social Security numbers could not be successfully claimed as dependents on tax returns; by 1990 the threshold was lowered to 1 year old, and was later abolished altogether. Since then, parents have often applied for Social Security numbers for their children soon after birth; today, it can be done on the application for a birth certificate.

Structure
Information from (from http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/ssn/geocard.html)

The Social Security number is a nine-digit number in the format “AAA-GG-SSSS”. The number is divided into three parts.
  • The Area Number, the first three digits, is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1973, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the office code in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be in the area where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Since 1973, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant’s mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, neither prior to 1973, nor since.
Generally, numbers were assigned beginning in the northeast and moving westward, so that people on the east coast had the lowest numbers and those on the west coast had the highest numbers. As the areas assigned to a locality are exhausted, new areas from the pool are assigned, so some states have noncontiguous groups of numbers.
Complete list of area number groups from the Social Security Administration
  • The middle two digits are the group number. They have no special geographic or data significance but merely serve to break the number into conveniently sized blocks for orderly issuance.
  • There is a theory that the two middle digits can be used to identify a person’s ethnic background. This is debunked as an urban legend on snopes.com as well as on the Social Security Administration’s website.
The group numbers range from 01 to 99. However, they are not assigned in consecutive order. For administrative reasons, group numbers are issued in the following order:
  1. ODD numbers from 01 through 09
  2. EVEN numbers from 10 through 98
  3. EVEN numbers from 02 through 08
  4. ODD numbers from 11 through 99
As an example, group number 98 will be issued before 11.
  • The last four digits are serial numbers. They represent a straight numerical sequence of digits from 0001-9999 within the group.
Currently, a valid SSN cannot have an area number above 772, the highest area number which the Social Security Administration has allocated.
There are also special numbers which will never be allocated:
  • Numbers with all zeros in any digit group (000-xx-####, ###-00-####, ###-xx-0000).
  • Numbers of the form 666-xx-####, probably due to the potential controversy (see Number of the Beast).
  • Numbers from 987-65-4320 to 987-65-4329 are reserved for use in advertisements.
The Administration publishes the last group number used for each area number. Since group numbers are allocated in a regular (if unusual) pattern, it is possible to identify an unissued SSN that contains an invalid group number. Despite these measures, many fraudulent SSNs cannot easily be detected using only publicly available information.

Types of Social Security cards

Three different types of Social Security cards are issued. The most common type contains the cardholder’s name and number. Such cards are issued to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. There are also two restricted types of Social Security cards:
  • One reads “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.” Such cards cannot be used as proof of work authorization, and are not acceptable as a List C document on the I-9 form.
  • The other reads “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.” These cards are issued to people who have temporary work authorization in the U.S. They can satisfy the I-9 requirement, if they are accompanied by a work authorization card.
In 2004 Congress passed The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act; parts of which mandated that the Social Security Administration redesign the Social Security Number (SSN) Card to prevent forgery. From April 2006 through August, 2007, Social Security Administration (SSA) and Government Printing Office(GPO) employees were assigned to redesign the Social Security Number Card to the specifications of the Interagency Task Force created by the Commissioner of Social Security in consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security. The new SSN card design utilizes both covert and overt cutting edge security features created by the SSA and GPO design teams.

This card haves a very long history full of good and important things that we just don’t know or care about. Even when it seems that this service will disappear with the dinosaur era since the government is doing lots of incredible miss use of the funds. Still they say that wont happen.

The Social Security Act was drafted by President Roosevelt’s committee on economic security, under Edwin Witte, and passed by Congress as part of the New Deal. The act was an attempt to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By passing this act, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate the protection of the elderly. President Roosevelt signed  the Social Security Act, at approximately 3:30 pm EST on 14 August 1935.

Other Facts Related to the Card:
  • The first SS-5 applications of a social security number were distributed to citizens (based on information from their employers) on Tuesday, November 24, 1936, after which 1,074 of the nation’s 45,000 post offices were designated “typing centers” to type up social security cards which were then sent to Washington, D.C.
  • On December 1, as part of the publicity campaign for the new program, Joseph L. Fay of the Social Security Administration selected a record from the top of the first stack of 1,000 records and announced that the first social security number in history was assigned to John David Sweeney, Jr., of New Rochelle, New York. Like many people whose number ended with “-0001”, Sweeney had been the first person to have his information processed by a typing center in his area. He died in 1974 at the age of 61.
  •  The “lowest” social security number (001-01-0001) was the one issued to Grace D. Owen of Concord, New Hampshire (which had the 001 prefix), after two others declined to receive an “honorary” number.[19] Miss Owen, later Mrs. Grace Muzzey, died in December 1975 at the age of 73.
  • The most misused SSN of all time was (078-05-1120). In 1938, wallet manufacturer the E. H. Ferree company in Lockport, New York decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets that later were distributed by Woolworth [reason why it is known as theWoolworth Card]. A sample card, used for display purposes, was inserted in each wallet. Company Vice President and Treasurer Douglas Patterson thought it would be a clever idea to use the actual SSN of his secretary, Mrs. Hilda Schrader Whitcher.
  • Decode Social Security Numbers

If you want to know more about the social security program, history or benefits you can go to Social Security Online the actual page of the program hosted by the government.

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