Social Security Number - SSN

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Social Security Number - SSN'

A nine-digit number assigned to citizens, some temporary residents and permanent residents in order to track their income and determine benefit entitlements. The Social Security number was created in 1936 and while the original intention was just to track earnings and benefits, it is now also used to identify individuals and sometimes track their credit record.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Social Security Number - SSN'

Social Security numbers are now random streams of digits, but prior to 2011, they were not. At that time, the first three digits represented the area in which the individual was born or was from. The next pair of numbers was originally slated to represent a year or month of birth. Because they worried about this being falsified, the Social Security Administration instead voted to have it represent a group number. The final four digits have aways been randomly generated.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Old-Age And Survivors Insurance ...

    An account within the Social Security Trust Fund used to pay ...
  2. IRS Form 4868

    An IRS form that must be submitted by individuals who wish to ...
  3. Filing Status

    A category that defines the type of tax return form an individual ...
  4. Taxes

    An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that ...
  5. Income Tax

    A tax that governments impose on financial income generated by ...
  6. Tax Reform Act Of 1986

    A law passed by the United States Congress to simplify the income ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do I transfer my credit card history from one country to another?

    It is currently not possible to transfer your credit history to another country if you relocate. The credit metrics used ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. When am I not required to submit a social security number on my tax return?

    When filing your tax return, you are generally required to include the social security numbers of yourself and the individuals ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why do brokers ask for personal information before they make any trades?

    According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), there are three main reasons why a broker will ask for personal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. When can benefits be received from a provident fund?

    Like most retirement savings vehicles, participants in provident funds are eligible to receive benefits at retirement. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is Social Security Income a perpetuity?

    Because Social Security income does not continue indefinitely, it cannot be classified as a perpetuity. What Is a Perpetuity? A ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What average annual growth rate is typical for the banking sector?

    The banking sector plays an important intermediary role by channeling available funds for productive uses in the economy ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Identity Theft: How To Avoid It

    Don't be a victim of this disturbing crime. Get insight into how perpetrators commit this form of fraud.
  2. Retirement

    Tax Tips For The Individual Investor

    We give you seven guidelines to help you keep more of your money in your pocket.
  3. Retirement

    Introduction To Social Security

    You've probably contributed to this fund, but will you reap the benefits? Find out here.
  4. Credit & Loans

    Identity Theft: Who To Call For Help

    If your identity is stolen, it's critical to act fast. Find out what to do if it happens.
  5. Taxes

    Estate Planning for a Surviving Spouse

    Estate planning for surviving spouses can be difficult for a number of reasons, so it's important to have good support and financial advice.
  6. Insurance

    Why Is Health Care So Expensive In The Us?

    The U.S. is the world leader in only one area of health care: costs. Why is it so hard to rein in these expenses?
  7. Credit & Loans

    Explaining Credit Ratings

    A credit rating is a third-party assessment about the creditworthiness of an individual or entity.
  8. Economics

    Explaining the Reserve Ratio

    Reserve ratio is the amount of cash a bank must keep in its bank vaults or deposit into a central, governing bank.
  9. Insurance

    Is My Health Insurance Good In Another State?

    Under ACA, is health care insurance something you can take with you state to state?
  10. Savings

    How Interest Rates Work on Savings Accounts

    Here's what you need to know to grow your rainy-day fund.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Multicurrency Note Facility

    A credit facility that finances short- to medium-term Euro notes. Multicurrency note facilities are denominated in many currencies. ...
  2. National Currency

    The currency or legal tender issued by a nation's central bank or monetary authority. The national currency of a nation is ...
  3. Treasury Yield

    The return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the debt obligations of the U.S. government. Treasuries are considered ...
  4. Bund

    A bond issued by Germany's federal government, or the German word for "bond." Bunds are the German equivalent of U.S. Treasury ...
  5. European Central Bank - ECB

    The central bank responsible for the monetary system of the European Union (EU) and the euro currency. The bank was formed ...
  6. Quantitative Easing

    An unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases private sector financial assets in order to lower interest ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!