Does Your Information Match Up?

Does Your Information Match Up?
by Jeanette Watkins
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Baltimore MD

Tax time is right around the corner. Soon you will be receiving your W-2s from your employer(s) and tax information from the IRS.
Carefully check your name, Social Security number and all of the data on your W-2s and on your Social Security card. A mismatch could delay your tax refund and cause problems with your Social Security benefits in the future. Such errors are easy to fix now.
This information includes name changes. If you've legally changed your name due to marriage, divorce, court order, or for any other reason, make sure you change your name with Social Security by applying for a new Social Security card. Make sure you change your name with your employer as well. If you change with one source but not the other, it could cause your earnings to be improperly recorded.
If you are the parent of a newborn, you want to make sure that the newest family member has a Social Security number too. Most people apply for their baby's Social Security card while they're still in the hospital at the same time they apply for the birth certificate. But if you didn't, you'll need to apply for your child's Social Security number in order to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return. You'll also need it if you ever need to apply for government benefits on behalf of the child or your family.
To apply for a Social Security card, all you need to do is complete a one-page application and provide proof of identity, age, and citizenship. In the case of a child's first card, you'd also need to prove that you are the parent. For a name change, you'd need to provide documentation with your old and new names.
For more information about getting a Social Security card and number for your child, or to change your name and get a replacement card for yourself with your updated information, visit Social Security's website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.