Handbook

Social Security Number

WHAT IS A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?

A Social Security Number (SSN) is required to earn wages, file taxes, and receive some types of government services in the U.S. A Social Security Number is a nine-digit number issued to US citizens, permanent residents, and temporary workers by the Social Security Administration. Like your passport this document should be stored in a safe location and not carried on you.

HOW TO OBTAIN A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER:
F-1 Students:

F-1 students are only eligible for a SSN if they have a job offer through on-campus employment or authorized off-campus employment and will be receiving wages. For further details and steps to apply for an SSN, please click here .

J-1 Students:

J-1 students are eligible to apply for a SSN after they have completed visa check-in requirements. Please visit DCISS in-person to submit a Social Security Support Letter. Your Social Security Support Letter will be ready for pick up 3 business days after the date of your submission. Once you receive DCISS’s support letter, you will take the support letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to apply for the SSN. Detailed instructions. on the location of the SSA and specific documentation to bring to the SSA will be included with your support letter.

GENERAL STEPS FOR GETTING A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER:

  • Find a Job
    • For F-1 visa holders only, J-1 visa holders can apply for one without a job
  • Schedule an Appointment with a counselor at the Dashew Center.
    • The counselor will then write you a Support Letter that you must take with you to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
    • Please allow AT LEAST three business days to process this Support Letter request.
  • Complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5).
    • Download from the Social Security Administration website at: www.ssa.gov.
      (Click on "Get or Replace a Social Security Card" and then "International Students").
  • Go to Social Security Administration
    • Take all necessary original paperwork (application, passport, and visa documents) with you to the Social Security Administration. You must wait at least 10 days from your arrival before going to the SSA office. See this link for more details.
      • Address: 11500 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90064.
      • Phone: 1-800-772-1213.
      For more information: www.ssa.gov/pubs/10181.html

PROTECT YOUR SSN!
  • Only give out this number to official agencies (for example: DMV when applying for a driver's license, applying for a credit card or filing taxes).
  • If your SSN is stolen report it immediately to the Social Security Office (1-800-772-1213) because your identity can be stolen. People can open credit cards in your name; get access to your bank accounts, etc. - KEEP THIS NUMBER SAFE!
  • Never give your SSN over the phone, unless you are the one who initiated the call to the agency or company.

Please Note: To apply for a replacement SSN card, you must first visit DCISS and apply for a Social Security Support Letter again. The SSA requires a support letter from DCISS to issue a SSN.

WHAT IF I DON’T QUALIFY FOR A SSN?

A Social Security Number (SSN) is required to earn wages, file taxes, and receive some types of government services in the U.S., such as from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Water and Power (DWP). Private industries such as mobile phone retailers, banks, apartment management companies, etc. may also require that you have a SSN to utilize their services.

F-1 students and their F-2 dependent(s) who are currently ineligible for a SSN, but would like to obtain services from government agencies or private industries that require a SSN, can instead apply for a Social Security Denial (SSA-L676-Refusal to Process SSN). The Social Security Denial can be presented to such agencies to prove your ineligibility for a SSN and support that your ineligibility should not restrict you from obtaining such services. Follow the steps below to obtain a Social Security Denial:

Step 1: Submit a Social Security Denial Letter Request form to DCISS

Submit a Social Security Denial Letter Request form to DCISS (no appointment required). Your Social Security Denial Eligibility Letter will be ready for pick up 3 business days after the date of submission.

Step 2: Apply for a Social Security Denial (SSA-L676-Refusal to Process SSN) at the Social Security Administration

Take the following documents to the Social Security Administration (SSA):

  • DCISS Social Security Denial Eligibility Letter
  • UCLA I-20
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Card
  • Passport

Click Here to locate your nearest, assigned Social Security Administration Office.



Social Security Administration Website


DCISS Info for Int’l Students about SSN
Click Here


SSN Denial Letter Info


What to do if your SSN is stolen