Unless you are a noncitizen who wants to work in the United States, you probably don’t need an SSN. Generally, only noncitizens authorized to work in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can get an SSN. SSNs are used to report a person’s wages to the government and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits. You need an SSN to work, collect Social Security benefits, and receive other government services.

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Last Reviewed: March 31, 2018