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There are only a few occasions where a person has more than one Social Security Number, For instance, a Railroad worker may have had two social security numbers in their names. Up until 1963, Series 700 numbers were designated for Railroad workers because they receive their retirement benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board and not the Social Security Administration. But, because railroad workers are often laid off for long periods of time, they would take jobs in other non-railroad industries, so they had to have a "regular" social security number to track and later collect benefits, This practice of issuing two SSNs ended in 1963.
A person can request a new Social Security number, but only under certain conditions:
- Where sequential numbers assigned to members of the same family are causing problems.
- In the event of duplicates having been issued.
- In cases where the person has been a victim of domestic violence or harassment, and there is a clear need to change their number for their personal safety.
- When a person has been a victim of identity theft, and their Social Security number continues to be problematic.
- Where a person has a demonstrable religious objection to a number.
Before 1986 people often didn't obtain a social security number until the age of 14, or before getting their first job, but in 1986, the government started requiring social security numbers for every child claimed as a deduction.
As an aside, the nine-digit number is divided into three parts: the first three digits, are known as the area number because they were formerly assigned by geographical region; the middle two digits, are known as the group number; and the final four digits are known as the serial number. Prior to 1973, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the area number represented the office code where the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be in the area where the applicant lived since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Beginning in 1973, the SSA began assigning SSNs, based on the ZIP Code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. Unfortunately, effective Dec. 2011, this practice also ended and new social security cards are now issued by using randomly assigned numbers. However, for genealogical purposes, although not a slam dunk way to determine where your ancestor was born, it may be a clue to the geographical area where your ancestor obtained his or her SSN and possibly lived or worked. For instance, the social security numbers provided: 318-14-9755 was issued in Illinois, and 546-20-9322 was issued in California. If the relative in question was born, raised, worked and died in Illinois, he or she most likely would not have a Social Security Number that was issued in California.
I greatly appreciate your information. It is very informative. It also helped solve which was the correct lady. My Grace was born in Kansas, lived in Texas for a while and then lived in California. So the 318 number could not have belonged to our lady. Thank you again for all of your information.