Social Security cards explained

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Get your 40 quarters in or no SS for you when you hit retirement.


Do we know anything at all about the creator of this? I ask because the narrator sounds American, but he gets some basic terminology wrong. (Would an American use the phrase “tax discount?”) I can’t find any information after nearly a minute of searching.

And FWIW, I think the term “tax discount” works domestically in these here states when you’re trying to make a point and not embracing the established terminology.


Amazing! What is this “Wikipedia” of which you speak?

And dual citizenship might well explain why he sounded (to me) both American and Not-American.


I thought those people were called Canadians.


It looks like Mark and I have some of the same youtube subscriptions.

I think they prefer the term “Schrödinger’s American”.


Do everything deliberately, not de facto.


If only we could get Federal agencies to tell a SSN owner when the number is used fraudulently by another person. I have been told that it is illegal to reveal this information but haven’t confirmed this.

H.L. Mencken wasn’t wrong. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. What he failed to mention is the corollary that the rest of us have to assume the position along with the drooling morons.

Me, bitter? Nah.

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One thing that keeps bugging me about this video (which is otherwise quite good) is that he keeps referring to SSNs as being ‘unique’. They’re not and haven’t really ever been unique as such.

It’s kind of obvious that in a nation with a 9-digit population, a 9-digit ID number is not going to be unique over more than a few generations. Given that they were constrained by location (first 3 digits) and timeframe (next 2 digits) for most of their history, even less plausible. Since they were often communicated verbally or via writing (sometimes illegible), with no way to verify them, mistaken duplications were guaranteed.

Estimates are that about 1/16 of us are listed under multiple SSNs and 1/7 of us share our SSN with at least one other person. That’s not very unique. It’s also a very good reason not to use SSN as an ID.


If all possible nine digit numbers were on the table, you could issue one billion socials. But as pointed out in the video, it isn’t actually a randomly chosen number, so the possible combinations are actually much lower.

Only 450 million out of a billion numbers has been issued. Sorry your info is incorrect.
“To date, 450+ million SSNs have been issued, but with just under 1 billion possible number combinations, there has never been a need to recycle numbers, and the SSA notes that it does “not reassign a Social Security number (SSN) after the number holder’s death.” Of course, at some point the numbers will run out and some change will need made to keep up that policy, perhaps adding a digit. But, for now, the answer to “What happens to your SSN when you die?” is absolutely nothing. It remains yours.”

Yeah only 999.9 million combinations.

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