We all know what Social Security numbers are, but have we ever wondered why they’re necessary? Social Security numbers, or SSN, are nine-digit numbers assigned to us at birth that most of us will keep for the rest of our lives.
The number’s original goal was pretty straightforward, it was a way to keep track of our earning history so to accurately calculate our future benefits. That’s still its main purpose, but now our SSN are the most commonly used form of identification. The Social Security Administration offers a thoroughly researched and detailed history of the Social Security number.
The Social Security numbers were paramount to the whole policy being a success. Originally the idea was to fingerprint people, but that was too associated with being a criminal, so the Social Security Administration settled on a number system.
Social Security numbers are comprised of nine-digits, which can be broken down into three groups: the area number, the group number, and the serial number.
The area number is tied to a geographical region; the group number is assigned nonconsecutively as part of a group of 10,000 within a region; finally, the serial number is a numerical series between 1 and 9,999.
Our numbers can be used as an identifier by just about any institution: banks, employers, schools, and the government.
Our numbers are so personal that legally, they signed into law that the number cannot be presented on a driver’s license.
It’s a paradox, we keep our numbers secret because it’s an assured way to identify ourselves. If someone were to steal that number, it could be catastrophic to our finances, our reputation, and our everyday lives. Luckily, The Social Security Administration has made leaps and bound in being able to identify potential fraud and replace stolen Social Security numbers.
Now, Social Security numbers are just a part of life but it was a momentous achievement establishing the Social Security system that so many have come to rely on.
Our numbers guarantee us benefits when we reach retirement age. The Council for Retirement Security is seeking to keep those benefits in the Social Security Trust where they belong.
The Protect Our Trust Fund Petition is the Council’s way to help seniors raise their voices, demanding Congress protect the benefits that were so tirelessly worked for. Our Social security numbers’ original purpose is lost if there are no benefits left for us to receive.