If the child is born in a hospital, the easiest way to apply for a SS number is right at the hospital. When information for the child’s birth certificate is given at the hospital, parents will also be asked whether they want to apply for a SS number for the child. If the parents say “yes,” they will be asked to provide both of their SS numbers, if possible. Even if the parents don’t know both of their SS numbers, they can still apply for a number for their child.
There are many reasons why a child should have a SS number. For example, a SS number is needed to claim a child as a dependent on income tax returns. A child may also need a number if parents plan to do the following for the child:
• Open a bank account.
• Buy savings bonds.
• Get medical coverage.
• Apply for government services.
Read Social Security Numbers for Children at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10023.pdf.
Applying at the hospital will allow parents to focus on the new family member.