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Yolanda York, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in San Diego, CA
Social Security - June, 2009
Weddings are in season at this time of year. If you’re planning to have one, or know someone who is, make sure you put Social Security on the to-do list — because we may need to send you a card. A new Social Security card, that is. If you plan to exchange your maiden name for a married name — including hyphenated names such as Smith-Jones — be sure you let us know.
Telling us about your name change shortly after your marriage will help us accurately keep track of your earnings and will ensure that you and your family get the Social Security retirement, disability or survivors benefits you’re entitled to. Also, if the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security records do not show the same name and Social Security number, your federal income tax refund could be delayed.
If you continue to use your maiden name consistently throughout your working years, you do not need to contact us. But if you decide to change your name at a later time, you should let us know so that we can update your Social Security record and send you a Social Security card with your new name. There’s no need to pay a third party to mail in the information for you. Changing your name with Social Security is a quick, easy and free service. You’re welcome to visit your local Social Security office. Or just go online to www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber and click on “Print an Application Form SS-5.” You also can call us at 1-800-772-1213 to obtain the form.
We will need the completed application along with either your marriage certificate showing your old and new names or two documents, one showing each name. If you were born outside the United States, you also need proof of your U.S. citizenship or proof that you are lawfully living in the U.S. You can bring or mail these documents to us.
So remember: if you are getting married and changing your name, let us know. You may already have a slew of cards congratulating you, but we’d like to send you a new card of our own.
Learn more about your Social Security card and number at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.