What is Social Security

This term is very much prevalent in the United States of America; it refers to the mandatory voluntary retirement system. In general terms is it defined as the system that uses the funds of the public to provide a sense of security for the people. This social security program covers old age, disability insurance and voluntary retirement system.

In the US every employer and employee has to pay social security taxes. The money thus collected is used primarily to provide certain benefits to citizens who have reached the age of retirement and others. By paying so both the employee and employer gets certain social security benefits on the amount paid towards it. Employees who have a higher salary band get more benefits from them. This program also pays not only people who have attained retirement age, but also to those who have low income. Thereby social security program helps those who are in need.

The government allots social security numbers to every person so that they can keep a track of who is paying this tax and who is not. This is a permanent identification number for employees so that they can be tracked even if they move on from one job to another and even from one location to another. These numbers are not allotted in a row; it is done as per the region they come from and in batches.

Let’s see what is this social security number, basically it is a 10 digit number. It consists of three parts namely area number, group numbers and serial numbers. The area number is basically three digits that represent that state the employee comes from. It is mandatory even for infants in the United States to have a social security number. In case of infants this area number will be the state where they are born.

Group numbers are those which have two digits and are simply used to break down all the social security numbers that have the same area codes. In this way it makes the job of the government easier for administration purposes. Group numbers that are issued first consist of odd numbers and then followed by even numbers. Serial numbers are those that are within each group, this is the last four digits of social security number. These numbers usually are allotted consecutively.

Here a question may arise as to what will happen to this social security number on the death of person. In such cases the number will be detached from the active list and will not be allotted to anybody. It is done so because reusing the same number may cause an issue in future. Care should be taken by the citizens not to lose their social security card. In case if it is lost then the person need to fill out form SS 5 along with identity proof like driver’s license, school ID card or employer ID card to support the same. 

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