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Jeri Fields: Newborns and their Social Security

Getting your newborn a Social Security number is important for their future. If your child is born in a hospital, the easiest way to apply for a Social Security number is right at the hospital.

When you give information for your child’s birth certificate at the hospital, you’ll be asked whether you want to apply for a Social Security number for your child. If you say “yes,” you will be asked to provide both parents’ Social Security numbers, if you can. Even if you don’t know both parents’ Social Security numbers, you can still apply for a number for your child.

There are many reasons why your child should have a Social Security number. You need a Social Security number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return. Your child may also need a number if you plan to do the following for your child:

• Open a bank account.
• Buy savings bonds.
• Get medical coverage.
• Apply for government services.

You can find more information by reading Social Security Numbers for Children at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10023.pdf.

Jeri Fields is the manager of the district Social Security office in Ironton.