Guard your Social Security card: Protect what's important to you
Also: Social Security and Women's History Month; Taxes and workers in your home
March 1, 2022 | View PDF
The Social Security Administration encourages you not to carry your Social Security card with you every day. The best way to “Guard Your Card” is to keep it in a safe place and share it only when required. In fact, in most cases, just knowing the Social Security number should be enough. In 49 states and the District of Columbia, a Social Security card isn’t required to request a Real ID. Only Pennsylvania requires it.
Please be careful about sharing your number when asked for it. You should always ask why your number is needed, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse. Also, you shouldn’t carry documents that display your number.
If you need a replacement Social Security card, we make it easy. You may be able to use a personal my Social Security account to request a replacement on our website. If you live in one of 46 participating states or the District of Columbia, and are requesting a replacement card with no changes, like a name change, you can use the free online service at http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/replacement-card.html.
Visit our Social Security Number and Card page at http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber to learn more about your Social Security card.
Please read our factsheet, “How You Can Help Us Protect Your Social Security Number and Keep Your Information Safe,” at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10220.pdf
Our Guard Your Card infographic, at http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/assets/EN-05-10553.pdf, is another great resource to understand whether you need to show your card.
Women’s History Month and Social Security
Each March, we celebrate Women’s History Month. It is a time to reflect on the achievements of women and Social Security has served a vital role in the lives of women for more than 85 years.
Women have longer average life expectancies than men, which means they live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. It’s important for women to plan early and wisely for retirement.
Our retirement pages at http://www.ssa.gov/retirement provide detailed information about how life events can affect a woman’s Social Security retirement benefits. These events may include marriage, widowhood, divorce, self-employment, government service and other life or career changes.
Your earnings history will determine your future benefits, so we encourage you to verify that the information we have is correct. You can create your personal my Social Security account at http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount and review your earnings history. If you find an error in your earnings record, it is important to get it corrected so you receive the benefits you earned when you retire. Our publication, “How to Correct Your Social Security Earnings Record” at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10081.pdf, provides you with details on how to make a correction. You also can view your Social Security Statement on your my Social Security account, for estimates of future benefits and other important planning information.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help women plan for retirement, check out our online booklet, “Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know”. You can find it at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10127.pdf.
Workers in your home and Social Security taxes
Do you plan to pay a cleaning person, cook, gardener, babysitter or other household worker at least $2,400 in 2022? If you will pay at least $2,400 to one person during the year, which may include transportation, meals and housing, you have additional financial responsibilities to consider.
When you pay at least $2,400 in wages to a household worker, you must do all of the following:
Deduct Social Security and Medicare taxes from those wages.
Pay these taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
Report the wages to Social Security.
Accurate reporting is important as employees earn credits toward Social Security benefits and Medicare coverage. You can currently earn Social Security or Medicare credit for every $1,510 in wages that are reported. Generally, people need 10 years of work to qualify for:
Retirement benefits (as early as age 62).
Disability benefits for the worker and the worker’s dependents.
Survivors benefits for the worker’s family.
You can learn more about reporting household worker income by reading the “Household Workers” article at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10021.pdf.