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Requesting a Copy of an Ancestor's SS Application



ss-5In your collection of vital records on the family ancestors, make sure you do get a copy of each one’s Social Security application. This document was completed by your ancestor when they first applied for social security card. For some relatives that could have been in the late 1930s. If you are looking for a relative who died before the late 1930s – no they would not have a SS card.  ssa-logo

These applications carry a wealth of information. Where they were living when they applied for the card, what occupation or job they were doing then, their mother’s maiden name, the female’s maiden name, along with the ancestor’s signature.

ss-5-elvisFirst, check on the Social Security Death Index to see if your ancestor is listed. To get a copy of that original application you can supply the person’s Social Security Number, then the fee is$27.00. If the SSN is not known, the fee is $29.00, and you must send the person’s full name, date and place of birth, and names of parents. If don’t know SSN or the ancestor is not on the SS Death Index, include proof of death (certificate, obit) with your ssa-711-1.  This is the pdf form to complete.

The easiest method is to request a copy of the SS-5 form for your ancestor is online through the Social Security Administration. There is a difference in wait time between these two methods. Wait time is about 6-8 week using the Social Security Application Form and mailing it in. The online with request applications are generally a bit quicker – often with a turnaround time of 3-4 weeks. ss-5-done-in-1936

If you mail in a request ssa-711-1 send it to:

Social Security Administration. OEO FOIA Workgroup
300 N. Greene Street
P.O. Box 33022
Baltimore, Maryland 21290-3022

Having copies of those applications (SS-5) are great, don’t miss that opportunity.

Photos: SS-5 application; SS Administration Logo; the one completed by Elvis Presley in Oct. 1950 and one dated 1936.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Social Security Death Index

Look Beyond an Obit

States – Death Indexes

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