Social Security Column


Question:

Can I get a new Social Security number if someone has stolen my identity?

Answer:

We do not routinely assign a new number to someone whose identity has been stolen. Only as a last resort should you consider requesting a new Social Security number. Changing your number may adversely affect your ability to interact with Federal and State agencies, employers, and others. This is because your financial, medical, employment and other records will be under your former Social Security number. We cannot guarantee that a new number will solve your problem. To learn more about your Social Security card and number, read our online publication on the subject at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002.html.

Question:

When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, are benefits payable on that person’s record?

Answer:

Social Security survivors benefits

can be paid to:

  • A widow or widower — unreduced benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60;
  • A disabled widow or widower— as early as age 50;
  • A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased's child who is under age 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits;
  • Unmarried children under 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending high school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren or adopted children;
  • Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled; and
  • Dependent parents age 62 or older.

Even if you are divorced, you still may qualify for survivors benefits. For more information, go to www.ssa.gov.

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