Help, I Lost my Social Security Card

Help, I Lost my Social Security Card

While we get a lot of people that contact us for our help getting their SSN card replaced, it is something you can do yourself.

Let’s say you moved out of the country for a few years and you had a social security number back then. What happens to that number?

The good news is that the Social Security Administration never reissues SSNs.  They remain with whomever they were issued to until a notice of death is turned into the SSA and theSSN is listed in the SSDI (death index). Therefore, your SSN is yours for the duration of your life.  It would not be reassigned to anyone.
We do offer a SSN and name match service which is derived from many sources including but not limited to the SSDI (a death record search), public records, court records, credit files, private data, and much more. Unfortunately computerized public records typically only go back so many years.

If you have not been in the states for years (a decade for example) it is likely that you haven’t used your SSN for anything for it to get reported – no mortgages, no auto loans, no utilities, no credit cards, etc. So if there isn’t any reported activity linked to your SSN our SSN and name match report may be unable to confirm a match with your name. We would still report the active or inactive status as defined by a death records search. However if there were fraudulent activity on your SSN another name would be listed and the SSN and name match service would come back as false (meaning a match to your name). If that happened you may opt for a reverse SSN Lookup.

If no information is found, and you haven’t used your SSN in years, it is actually a good sign. Since that would mean no one has been trying to use your SSN without your consent either, so your SSNis still clean.

If your SSN is still considered “active” according to our service but no name was found, that just means there isn’t any current information for the investigators to either deny or confirm the match to your name.

Keep in mind that once an SSN is assigned it is for the duration of your life. You can rest assure that if the SSN you provide was in fact issued to you in the past, it is still yours.

If you lost your Social Security Card, you may want to contact the SSA and get a replacement.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noah Wieder is CEO of SearchBug, Inc. and the founder of Best People Search. offers a Free People Finder and Company Search as well as Data Scrubbing Services. is a private investigator portal and Information Retrieval Services web site where investigators offer searches to businesses and individuals with specific search needs.


How do I find out if someone is deceased?

How do I find out if someone is deceased?

A Social Security Death Records search also known as Social Security Death Index “SSDI” is a database of death records available online from many resources. It is included in most reverse social security number lookup searches.

This list is a brief history of the SSDI:

  • August 14, 1935 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law.
  • 1936-1937 – Approximately 30 million U.S. residents apply for and receive Social Security numbers.
  • Jan 1, 1937 – Workers begin acquiring credits toward old-age insurance benefits, and payroll tax (FICA) withholding begins.
  • 1947 – Application for Social Security number no longer includes employer information.
  • 1962 – Electronic requests for benefits become commonly used, resulting in what is known as the Social Security Death Index.
  • 1963 – Issuance of Social Security numbers beginning with 700-728 to railroad employees was discontinued.
  • 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare into law. Many citizens over age 65 receive Social Security cards for the first time.
  • 1967 – Department of Defense begins using Social Security numbers instead of military service numbers to identify Armed Forces personnel.
  • 1972 – SSA is required by law to issue Social Security numbers to any legally admitted alien upon entry, and to obtain evidence of age and citizenship or alien status and identity.
  • 1972 – SSA begins assigning Social Security numbers and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, and the area number assigned is based on the mailing address zip code from the application.
  • 1989 – SSA program enables parents to automatically obtain a Social Security number for a newborn infant when the birth is registered with the state.

The SSDI is an index to information about persons with Social Security numbers whose deaths have been reported to the Social Security Administration. The death may have been reported by a survivor requesting benefits. It may have been reported in order to stop Social Security Benefits to the deceased. Funeral homes often report deaths to the SSA as a service to family members.

Beginning in 1962, the SSA began to use a computer database for processing requests for benefits. About 98% percent of the people in the SSDI died after 1962, but a few death dates go back as far as 1937.

Because legal Aliens in the U.S. can obtain a Social Security card, their names may appear in the SSDI if their deaths were reported. Some 400,000 railroad retirees are also included in the SSDI.

The Social Security Death Index is not an index to all deceased individuals who have held Social Security Numbers. It is not a database of all deceased individuals who have received Social Security Benefits, or whose families have received survivor benefits.

If you are pretty sure the individual you are looking meets the criteria for inclusion in the SSDI but does not appear in the index, there are some things you might try:

  • If searching by name, try searching by possible alternate name spellings.
  • If searching by birth or death dates, change them around (i.e. instead of searching for 5 Oct 1958 [10/5/58], search for 10 May 1958 [5/10/58])
    Change years around (i.e. 1974 becomes 1947).
  • Use all other possible spellings of the name (and perhaps some that aren’t so likely). When searching for a name like O’Reilly, or other names with punctuation in them, try the name without the punctuation (e.g. OReilly).
  • If you are looking for someone using first and last name but can’t find them try searching with first initial and last name.
  • There are also rare instances of what appear to be middle initials included with the last name, so you may want to try that as well.
  • We also recommend switching the last name and first name around.
  • Or, try searching for a middle name as a first name.
  • Even if you know a piece of information, try omitting it (i.e. if you know first and last name and death date, try leaving off the first name).

If none of these suggestions work, it is possible that the SSDI has erroneously omitted your subject. If this is the case, you can contact the SSA to correct it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noah Wieder is President and CEO of Intelligent eCommerce, Inc. and the founder of Bestpeoplesearch is a private investigtor portal and Information Retrieval Services web site where investigators offer searches to businesses and individuals with specific search needs.


Secretly Verify if SSN is Legal

Recent questions from customers inquiring about our free social security number verification system.


  1. Am I able to verify if an SSN is legal on your system and is it confidential ?
  2. Can I secretly verify if SSN is Legal ?
  3. Is your free online SSN verification search private ?
  4. Can I do a death search by social security number with your system ?
  5. Can I get a free background search by ssn ?
  6. If I use your system to search by ssn for free what info do I get ?


  1. In short, yes you can Secretly verify if SSN is legal and it is confidential. It’s not necessary to secretly verify SSN information. If you are an employer just trying to find out if someone is providing a valid SSN you can call the SSA or use our system or both. You should not rely on one system and you can not make employment decisions based on the information you receive from our web site. Employers must abide by current laws such as GLB, FCRA and any others that affect your industry. Consult an HR or legal professional for further advise.
  2. Please refer to answer 1 above.
  3. Please refer to answer 1 above.
  4. It is not necessary to conduct a separate death records search. If you use our free SSN verification system and know the SSN we will do a free death records search for you at the same time we check to see if the SSN is valid. If a death record is found we will provide the date of death or whatever if located.
  5. Um, sorry, but no. A full background check requires a professional to uncover all the necessary information. You can obtain a comprehensive background check from one of our investigators it’s just not a free background search by SSN.
  6. Well, if you provide the SSN (no name or anything else), our system will check to see if the social security number is a valid number or not. If it is, the system will provide you with the state that issued that number (in the future we hope to provide an approximate year as well). Some of the responses can be “Valid” or “Active”, which means the SSN has likely been issued by the state reported, and it has not been reported to the Social Security Death Index. If the SSN report comes back as “not valid” the most likely explanation is that the number you entered is not a legitimate SSN or the number has yet to be issued. If the free SSN report comes back as “NOT active” the SSN was most likely found in the Social Security Death Index and the report should include the approx date of death if available.

A Long Question: Can you please provide an explanation of how your free SSN verification works. We need to make certain that the information you provide is credible and reliable. Please provide more information about how the system works and the resources that are used to verify the information.

A Long Answer: We utilize a proprietary system using data from the web site as well as the social security death records index file both of which are updated monthly.

Since our Social security number verification program currently allows a few free searches daily you can certainly test the validity of the data easily. Simply run a bunch of SSN numbers known to be both valid and invalid. In other words, enter good numbers, invalid numbers, and deceased numbers into the free SSN verification tool.

Secretly Verify if SSN is Legal

When testing out our Free social security number verification tool please keep in mind that some deceased information takes longer than others to be reported and/or included in the the death file by the SSA.

You should also keep in mind that anytime the state increases or changes the group number (the middle two numbers of the SSN) or when someone gets a brand new SSN it can take a anywhere from 45 days to a few months for the system to recognize the number as valid.

Also, if there is a group number that does not get issued or changed often for some reason there are not many births or SSN numbers issued in a certain sequence a relatively new number may not produce an “Active” response by the system.

It’s important to realize and understand that every system is going to have some discrepancies as no one can guarantee 100% accuracy but we’ve processed well over 1,000,000 free SSN verifications since we started offering the service and can honestly say our system offers well over a 99% accuracy rate. We think that’s a pretty darn good track record. We hope you give it a try.

If you need more than a few free SSNs verified each day we offer a simple online solution using this link for less than $0.25 each.

If you only need to verify a few a day (we are offering 10 free a day as of this writing) you can simply use our free SSN verification tool.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noah Wieder is President and CEO of Intelligent eCommerce, Inc. and the founder of Bestpeoplesearch is a private investigator portal and Information Retrieval Services web site where investigators offer searches to businesses and individuals with specific search needs.

Categories: SSN, BPS