Social Security: A New and Faster Way to Apply for a Social Security Card |

Do you need an original or replacement citizen service number card? We now have a new – and faster – way to get started online.

When you visit our Social Security Number and Card webpage at, we now ask you a series of questions to determine if you:

• Complete the application process online.

• Start the application process online and bring all required documents to your local office to complete the application, usually in less time.

Once you have completed your application (online or in person), we will send the card after processing the application. Please understand that we do not issue cards at our offices.

Complete your application at the office

If you need to visit an office, follow these steps to complete the application:

1. Find out what types of documents to bring to your local office.

2. Print and save the online control number after completing the online application.

3. Bring the online verification number – along with the documents – to your local office within 45 days to complete your application. Find your local office using our Office Locator at

4. Check in at the kiosk on arrival.

5. Meet with one of our agents to verify the information you entered online and review the documentation.

That is it! You will usually receive the card by post within 7 – 10 working days.

We are constantly expanding our services to put you in control and help keep you and your family safe today and tomorrow. Please share this information with your friends and family – and post it on social media.

Q: I am approaching full retirement age, but I plan to continue working after applying for Social Security benefits. Will my benefit be reduced because of my income?

A: No. If you receive benefits after you reach full retirement age, you can work while receiving Social Security and your current benefits will not be reduced because of the income earned. If you continue to work, this could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefits your dependents can receive. If you receive benefits before full retirement age, your income may reduce your monthly benefit. After you have reached full retirement age, we will recalculate your benefit amount to exclude the months in which we reduced or withheld benefits because of your excess income. Learn more about Social Security by reading our How Work Affects Your Benefits publication at

Q: My spouse does not have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Can they qualify on my record?

A: A spouse may receive half of the retired employee’s full benefits unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, the amount of the spouse’s benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches full retirement age. You can learn more by reading our online Pension Benefits publication at:

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For quick answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit

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