New Social Security Numbers For Domestic Violence Victims And Others

You may get a new number if you are being harassed, abused, or endangered.

Millions of people in all walks of life are victims of family

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violence. Many others are subject to harassment, abuse or life endangering situations in their daily lives. If you are such a victim, we can help you.

Public awareness campaigns stress the importance of victims developing safety plans that include gathering personal papers and choosing a safe place to go. Sometimes the best way to evade an abuser and reduce the risk of further violence may be to relocate and establish a new identity. Following these changes, it also may be helpful to get a new Social Security number.

Although we do not routinely assign new numbers, we will do so when evidence shows you are being harassed, abused or endangered. However, a new Social Security number alone cannot protect you, particularly if your original number did not play a role in the harassment, abuse or life endangerment.

How Do I Apply For A New Number?

You must apply in person at any Social Security office. We will help you complete:

  • a statement explaining why you need a new number; and
  • an application for a new number.

You will need to present:

  • original documents establishing your age, identity and U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status, such as a birth certificate and a driver's license;
  • one or more documents identifying you by both your old and new names if you have changed your name (as the Department of Justice recommends);
  • evidence showing you have custody of children for whom you are requesting new numbers; and
  • evidence you may have documenting the harassment or abuse. We will help you obtain additional evidence that is needed.
Who Can Provide The Evidence I Need?

The best evidence of abuse comes from third parties, such as police, medical facilities or doctors, and describes the nature and extent of harassment, abuse or life endangerment.

Other evidence may include court restraining orders, letters from shelters, family members, friends, counselors or others who have knowledge of the domestic violence or abuse.

Your Number Is Confidential

Your Social Security number and our records are confidential. We do not furnish your number to third parties. They get your number when you give it out. Therefore, you should be careful about sharing your number with those who ask for it, even when they provide you with a benefit or service. This is especially important if you obtain a new number to break the link to an abusive past.

Any Questions?

If you need more information, or if you don't have the documents listed above, contact a local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on business days.

You can also access Social Security information on the Internet at www.ssa.gov.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
11-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Courtesy Social Security Administration
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