A Social Security number, or SSN, is assigned to all citizens of the United States, as well as people legally registered within the country either as being permanent or temporary, working residents. Social Security numbers are assigned by the agency of the U.S. government, the U.S. Social Security Administration, which has responsibility for overseeing this general system for financial assistance to those Americans who have a reduced ability to provide for themselves.
The Social Security Act, passed in 1935 as part of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration’s New Deal package of legislation, provides for this ability to issue Social Security Number (SSN) verification. Social Security numbers are mainly issued in order to assist the Social Security Administration with registering and monitoring individuals for their contribution to the tax burden imposed by the Social Security system as a whole.
In addition to the primary, functional purpose of the Social Security number (SSN) system, Social Security numbers also customarily function as the closest thing to a national standard for identification, and as such can prove useful for American citizens, beyond the matter of their legal necessity, in a number of different settings as require proof of both U.S. citizenship or permissible residence and personal identity.
People who are interesting in receiving a Social Security number (SSN) for the first time can submit a Form SS-5 to their local Social Security Administration offices. In contemporary American practice, Social Security numbers are typically applied for the newborn children of U.S. citizens soon after their birth.