Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Can a noncitizen obtain a Social Security number?

Alabama, and the rest of the United States, is home to immigrants from all over the world who come here to make a decent living. As time passes, many of these people may face financial challenges owing to a number of reasons. In due course, they may require financial support in the form of Social Security Retirement income, Social Security Disability income or Supplemental Security income.

The first step for those noncitizens in that direction is to obtain a Social Security number. According to rules set by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, a noncitizen can obtain a Social Security number in two ways.

First, a noncitizen can apply for a Social Security number before entering the United States. The application needs to be filed at the time the noncitizen is applying for an immigration visa. If a noncitizen chooses to go by this method, he or she does not need to visit the Social Security office after entering the United States.

Alternatively, a noncitizen can visit the Social Security office in person where he or she must produce all documents relevant to immigration. Ideally, this application should be made 10 days after arriving in the United States so that the SSA can verify the information online. Additionally, the SSA requires a proof of identity and age and a copy of the work-authorized immigration status papers.

One a noncitizen has completed either of these two application processes, the SSA mails the Social Security card to the applicant after ensuring that all documents and supporting information is in order. Obtaining the Social Security number is a fairly simple process, as is evident here. However, the challenges start thereafter and are mainly associated with the obtaining SSD and/or SSI benefits.

As SSD benefits can often be complicated to obtain, it may be a wise decision if the noncitizens residing in and around Mobile choose to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling a variety of matters related to SSD and SSI benefits. The attorney's experience in dealing with the SSA should be a reliable support that the claimant would find helpful in the hour of need.

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