Social Security Number, or non-security? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

In making our move to the country I've been filling out forms everywhere, from utilities to banks. Prominent are requests for SS#. Am I getting too paranoid for existence? This request makes me feel I might as well have it tatooed on my arm as in the Nazi Germany cleansing. I believe the SS# should be between you and the SS department, for their purpose only. Not to keep track of you credit wise, location wise, etc. I've stopped giving it out. Anyone else feel the same?

-- D.J. Phillips (, November 06, 1999


Do not give your SS# to anyone besides your
employer, your bank or the SSA. No one else has
the statatory authority to ask for it.

PL 93-579 Sec. 7b
Any Federal, State or local government agency
which requests an individual to disclose his
SS# shall inform the individual whether this
disclosure is voluntary or mandatory, by what
statute or other authority such number is
solicited and what uses will be made of it.

5 USC Sec. 552a
(3) inform each individual whom it asks to supply information, on the form which it uses to collect the information or on a separate form that can be retained by the individual -
(A) the authority (whether granted by statute, or by executive order of the President) which authorizes the solicitation of the information and whether disclosure of such information is mandatory or voluntary;
(B) the principal purpose or purposes for which the information is intended to be used;
(C) the routine uses which may be made of the information, as published pursuant to paragraph (4)(D) of this subsection; and
(D) the effects on him, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information;

-- spider (, November 06, 1999.

I've got my SSN tattoed on my left shoulder.

No kidding.

Cant say why though.

-- hamster (, November 06, 1999.


Isn't that like a dog tag, but on your arm? If you get out of your cage, you can be easily returned. :)

-- (, November 06, 1999.

I've thought for a long time that the ss# is the number the biblical forecast was speaking. The 666 I felt was symbolic. Speaking of 666, did anyone else see the hat the Pope was wearing years ago with Roman numerals emblazoned across the top. Their order: D=500; C=100; L=50; X=10; V=5; I=1; add them up. 666=eerie.

-- Butt Splinters (, November 06, 1999.

You would't be suggesting that the Catholic church is going to be the one world church also mentioned in the end of times, are you? The world's largest church, hmmm.....

-- DGBennett (, November 06, 1999.

Is this true, Spider? I remember going through several rounds at the DMV when I needed a driver's license a few years back. I had a birth certificate, my passport, my insurance card, etc., but I lost my social security card when I was 16. The guy said I needed PROOF of my SS#...suggested I get a W-2. I explained that I was self-employed and only got a 1099...went home and got it...not good enough. The number on the 1099 says "tax-payer identification number" or something...didn't specifically state SS#. My health insurance card had the number, but it was "customer number." To be honest, I'm not sure what I finally found that satisfied them, but the other clerk that serviced me at the DMV told me the 1099 would have been fine.

Educational institutions use SSN also. My daughter needed to provide hers for registration.

-- Anita (, November 06, 1999.

I had the same trouble here in OR about
20 years ago. I got belligerent, demanded
to see their supervisor, explained the Public
Law and eventually got my drivers licence
without disclosing my SS#. People are always
amazed when I refuse. I tell non-governmental
agencies that they are breaking the law just
in asking for my number. Education institutions
cannot ask for it unless you are working for
them. I did have an unsuccessful attempt to
get a college library card when I refused. I would
have had to go to court to force them to get
give me the card without the #. I just didn't get
the card.

I have a long running battle with my bank that
wants the # for my checking acct. I refuse to
give it because that acct. does not need to be
reported for tax purposes.

-- spider (, November 06, 1999.

I cancelled my SS# by an act of recission many years ago. I found this link on a scriptural disertation on the Social Security System. an excellent scriptural analysis

-- Greg (, November 06, 1999.


Would you have a link to the above-mentioned articles, statutes (or whatever they are?)

I've noticed in recent years that more information is being requested by EVERYONE. I understand that many questions are for statistical purposes, but I don't feel compelled to provide my zip code at a grocery store, nor do I feel compelled to provide my telephone number to Radio Shack. I checked out the discount cards that many groceries now offer, and the form wanted too much personal information to suit me. I'm very angry that the phone companies may soon be able to sell our phone records for telemarketing purposes.

-- Anita (, November 06, 1999.

-- spider (, November 06, 1999.

Some Frequently Asked Questions on SSNs

-- spider (, November 06, 1999.

Hey! my post got deleted!
Privacy and Your Social Security Number

-- spider (, November 06, 1999.


FWIW, I once felt the same way about Radio Shack wanting to know everything but my blood type when I'd go in to buy some batteries (for cash). I don't get upset anymore. Now I just make up an address. I wonder how many of their catalogs are returned as undeliverable?

Any other company -- if they're not entitled to my S/S # by law, they're going to fight like hell to get it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't -- and sometimes I just make up that number, too.

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 06, 1999.

This number is between you and the nearly insolvent SSA, period. As such, your W-2 employer can needs it to reduce your take home pay.

The case can be made that tax-advantaged private pension plans can also request this number, as these plans reduce your current taxable income and therefore your contribution to the SSA.

A lesser case can be made for providing this number to those entities that pay you taxable income in a given year, as this would increase your taxable retirement income and hence your statutory "contribution".

That's about the extent of the web. Anyone else can ask but you don't have to give. You probably won't get the service or product you are after, so be prepared to seek out alternatives.

A bank has no legitimate reason to ask for your SSN unless they are paying you interest or you have secured a tax-advantaged loan (e.g. mortgage) from them.

The motor vehicle dept. has no legitimate reason to ask for your SSN.

An auto lender has no legitimate reason to ask for your SSN.

The county can ask for your SSN because property taxes are tax- deductible.

Opening a non-interest account at a bank creates no legitimate reason to ask for your SSN.

Applying for a credit card provides no legitimate reason to ask for your SSN. They will still ask for it and most will deny credit if you don't give it because all the national credit databases are (incorrectly) keyed to SSN. I think this is a holdover from the days when consumer interest had been tax-deductible.

No application for any non-tax-related license, membership, or affiliation should have a legitimate reason for getting your SSN.

A couple of observations:

1) Lots of places want this number either because they have a legitimate use for it, they're snoops, they're clueless, or they're lazy. Don't give it to them. Educate them. The republics greatest enemy is the uneducated or brain-dead private/public bureaucrat.

2) The tax system is completely intertwined with Social Security. I don't think this is at all right, but that's the way it is. Because of this many more entities are able to legitimately request your SSN than should otherwise be the case. Don't compound the problem by revealing your personal information more than necessary.

3) Before coughing up your number in robot-like fashion, ask yourself these questions:

Is this agency's request in anyway related to my government-imposed, involuntary retirement plan?

Is this agency going to provide tax-advantaged services or yield taxable income to me?

Do I want this product or service enough that I am willing to reveal my private retirement account number (serial number) to them, facilitating complete electronic tracking and even possible identity theft?

If you don't answer yes to at least one of the above, don't give out your number and, if so-inclined, tell them why.

-- Nathan (, November 06, 1999.

You don't have to supply a SS number to your bank, even if you receive interest. Most banks have a special code that they put in the screen designated for the SS number if you decline to give it. (At the institution where I used to work, it was all 9's for refusal to give, all 8's for foreign nationals who didn't have to pay taxes.) However, if you earn interest on the account, they will withhold some of that interest if you don't provide your correct SS number.

-- JW (I don', November 06, 1999.

SS # is how your credit report is checked for potential lenders.

-- preparing (, November 06, 1999.

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