Everyone is given a Social Security number when they’re born or become a U.S. citizen.
This helps identify people and keep a record of their employment and earnings. This allows people to benefit from programs down the line.
People normally have their card memorized, but it’s good to have your physical card that was issued to you.
Unrestricted cards are only given to U.S. citizens or people that are legally in the U.S.
The card has your name, SSN, and allows for people to work without restrictions.
How to get an unrestricted card to work
Many people seek an unrestricted card so they can work.
To do this you need to fill out the SSA Form SS-5 and bring it to your local SSA office with documentation.
Those who have sought asylum in the U.S. can apply for unrestricted cards as well.
The other two cards come with working restrictions.
One states on the card “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.” This means that in order to work, the cardholder needs the Department of Homeland Security to approve their request to work.
The third card states “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.” These cards do not allow people who were let into the U.S. to work at all.
These cards are given only if someone needs a SSN for reasons other than work, like for benefits or services.