There are all these new procedures out there to make it safe and better for you.
Never mind that in the process you can go totally insane. For example – we got Social Security Cards for the kids when they were all infants. Meant that there were no problems along the way when the IRS started insisting on those very same numbers being on any tax return where you claimed said young’uns as dependants.
With the younger crew, it means we did that between 18-22 years ago. No hassles, right? And the cards were put in a safe place so that they would not get lots. I even made copies of them just in case. Fast forward to the Mole trying to do his selective service registration – first we find that you can’t do it from overseas without going to the Consulate (or, perhaps the local military passport office, but I will get to that later). While he was in the US last year, he got on line, only to find out that his SSN was “wrong.” He was reading it off his ID. What he had on his ID card did not match what we had on the IRS forms, but confusion had been introduced into the system.
Our tax records matched the Social Security Admin’s Database and the correct number is on his registration. Back to the challenges: for whatever reason, the guys never got the number fixed in the Army system. Further, banks want SSN verification prior to opening up checking/savings on young people. Using the number on his ID card obviously bounced when it was checked and he became flagged somehow.
The Army, bless their rules, were willing to take either his SSN card (we don’t have it) or his Selective Service Document as proof of the correct number and make the change. Asking them to print out a DEERS form for validation – lo and behold – DEERS now assignes a DOD ID number and no longer uses SSNs as of 1 June. Good for security (maybe) but bad in terms of validating what number the Mole really has.
(Aside here – the difference in the numbers was one digit in the middle of the last four which maybe why we never spotted it. Wrong number duplicated.)
The Military Passport office does in fact do the paperwork for Social Security Cards. They have the forms, make copies of all the supporting documents (two forms of proof of citizenship – never mind that a passport is a derivative based off the birth certificate which was the other document which was required), and sends them off to the Consultate in Frankfurt who will mail him his card sometime in the next 4-6 weeks.
Meanwhile, I am about to have another go-round with the bank. I think they should take the Selective Service paperwork since that particular organization independently verifies the SSN.
The recommendation I have for all of you is to go and check to make sure that you have the basic life documents that you need. It is much easier to get birth certificates, SSN cards, marriage licenses, death certificates, and the like when there is no pressure. Then figure out a decent filing system so that you don’t have to dig through a desk piled so high with stacks and binders that an avalanche would be inevitable. When we get that far in the cleaning – you will get a before and after photo.