Your Baby Shouldn’t Have a Social Security Card

social security babiesIf you're over the age of 30, you may remember going into the Social Security office with a parent and getting your little flimsy piece of blue paper. I was probably around 12 when I got mine, and I'm not sure why mom decided that was the right moment since I wasn't getting a job or a driver's license. But I'm really not sure when the shift happened and babies started getting signed up for their Social Security card right in the hospital.

After reading about how identity thieves are grabbing unused Social Security numbers of kids, I'm now wondering why, exactly, we so readily signed up our newborns for their lifelong ID cards long before they could use them.

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Which is what happened to Stephanie McManis, and now she's constantly battling the reporting agencies 20 years after her identity was stolen. Yikes! Which made me wonder what's so important about getting your baby's Social right away, when this is a potential consequence. Something I didn't think about when I was handed the paperwork in the hospital. At that point, my only thought was, "Whew! I don't have to spend any time in a long line in a government office."

However, the Social Security office says you have to get a Social Security number in order to claim your baby as a dependent and to obtain medical insurance. But later they say, getting the number is not mandatory. I suppose it's not, if you don't need insurance or want a tax break. Interesting, how that goes.

So basically, if you're wealthy enough that you don't need to write your baby off on your taxes, or have health insurance, you can skip the Social Security card. For the rest of us, the takeaway is to periodically run a credit report on your kids. You know, in your spare time.

Did you get a Social Security number for your baby?

 

Image via GraceFamily/Flickr

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