Ordering SS Applications Online

One of the best original sources for information on a relative or ancestor, especially if they lived after 1900 is the U.S. Social Security Application.

To get a copy of those applications, there is a new ordering form known as SS-5. From the Social Security Administration. It is now a bit easier to order those applications. There is a fee of $21 per application but you don’t need to already know the person’s SS number, which is a help.

The application forms started in 1935. They provide full names, their mailing address when they completed the application, age at last birthday, full date of birth, place of birth, father and mother’s full names (that includes a mother’s maiden name), the person’s race and a signature of the person filling out their application and the date they applied. A signature is a really great item to have.

You can get a copy if the person is deceased and you can prove it with an obit, etc. or if that person was born more than 120 years ago – year 1900. One other requirement, if the person is deceased, it has to be at least three full years since their death before you request the SS application. Always request the photocopy of the original application – the SS-5.

To order online, go to the FOIA online site. Start with ‘Create Request’ and then click ‘Begin’. Select the ‘Social Security Administration.’ Under Additional Information, use the drop-down menu to choose “Photocopy of Original Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5) for a Deceased Individual.”

Next, you need to ‘attach supporting files’. You will need to show proof of death. You could provide: a public record of death, a statement from the funeral home, a statement from the attending physician; the coroner’s report, or an obituary with sufficient identifying information –name, address, age, etc. These support items can be made digital and attached to the online request.

Then you are directed to the ‘Pay.gov’ website to pay the $21 per request. With that completed in about 2 to 6 weeks, you should get the SS application of your relative. You should then scan it and keep copies in several backup sources.

You will have a wealth of new information.

Photo: Leona E. Rue’s 1937 SS application-age 17.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Identity Theft

Assistance with SS Records

SS Death Index

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