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Old January 22 2015, 10:26 PM   #1
Miss Chicken
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Another question for Americans

I have been re watching my Person of Interest DVDs and in one episode Elias is being processed in prison and is asked to give his Social Security number and he just rattles it off. My question is "Do most American know their Social Security number by heart?".

Here in Australia I have

A Tax File Number
A Customer Reference Number for Centrelink (Centrelink is our social security department)
a Medicare Number
a Personal Information Card (which I use for ID instead as I don't have a licence

I know none of these numbers off by heart as I don't need to use them very often.

For what things does an American have to use his/her SSN for?

Other nationalities can feel free to tell us about how their governments identify them.
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Last edited by Miss Chicken; January 22 2015 at 11:46 PM.
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Old January 22 2015, 10:51 PM   #2
mimic
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Re: Another question for Americans

I've known mine since 7th grade when I needed to know it for the SATs.

At university, it was my student ID # with a '9' attached to the front, until someone realized that was a bad idea and gave us other ones.

A few work-related websites use the last 4 digits of your SSN as a password.

I can also rattle off my credit card #, though, so memorizing things has never been an issue for me.
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Old January 22 2015, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Another question for Americans

i've known mine by heart since grade school. mostly because the last four digits had to be entered into a computer so you could get lunch.
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Old January 22 2015, 11:19 PM   #4
auntiehill
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Re: Another question for Americans

Yes, most people do. You need it for job applications, hospital forms, credit cards applications, banking purposes, tax forms---and as a form of ID for many, many things. So, yes, you should know your Social Security number by heart. Most, but not all, Americans do.
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Old January 22 2015, 11:42 PM   #5
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Re: Another question for Americans

^ This. You write it on so many forms you know it by rote. There was also a time in my life (University) when I could rattle off my driver license number the same way for the same reason.
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Old January 22 2015, 11:57 PM   #6
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Re: Another question for Americans

I've known mine by heart since the 5th grade, so yeah.
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Old January 23 2015, 12:03 AM   #7
Miss Chicken
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Re: Another question for Americans

Are you assigned a Social Security number at birth, or when you start school, or does someone have to apply for it?
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Old January 23 2015, 12:10 AM   #8
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Re: Another question for Americans

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
Are you assigned a Social Security number at birth, or when you start school, or does someone have to apply for it?
This might help?

And not American, but I can rattle off my National Insurance number if asked. It's not needed as much as a SSN, but it is needed from time to time, especially concerning new jobs and pay and other such things.

Is there nothing similar in Australia?
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Old January 23 2015, 12:17 AM   #9
Pondwater
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Re: Another question for Americans

J. Allen wrote: View Post
I've known mine by heart since the 5th grade, so yeah.
Same here.
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Old January 23 2015, 12:25 AM   #10
Miss Chicken
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Re: Another question for Americans

In Australia we have a Tax File Number which is used in very limited situations, all of which are related to tax

1) filing a tax return
2) once you are employed you give it to your employer so that tax can be taken out of your wage. It is never put on a job application.
3) for superannuation purposes
4) when applying for Centrelink payments

It isn't used for indentification purposes at all. You can open a bank account without a tax file number but if you do not give it to the bank your interest is taxed at the highest rate.

The Medicare card is used to go to the doctor, and to make any medical claims etc

My Centrelink customer number is used for dealing with Centrelink and for applying for any pensioner concessions etc

Often Australians have to provide proof of identity for various reasons (to open up a bank account, apply for government service etc) and generally you need 100 points of ID. A birth certificate or a passport is worth 70 points and most other things (Medicare Card, concession card, insurance document, paid utility bill, school record etc) are worth 25 points. One has to have a 70 point document and 2 25 point document.

We do not have to show any ID to vote. When dealing with a non-government organisation I only have to show my Personal Information Card (most people show their driver's license).
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Last edited by Miss Chicken; January 23 2015 at 12:45 AM.
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Old January 23 2015, 12:25 AM   #11
Melakon
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Re: Another question for Americans

Yes, I had to get a social security card at 12 when a savings account was opened in my name. I memorized my first driver's license too, which was 16 digits. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I can remember my street address.
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Old January 23 2015, 12:34 AM   #12
Pondwater
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Re: Another question for Americans

Melakon wrote: View Post
Yes, I had to get a social security card at 12 when a savings account was opened in my name. I memorized my first driver's license too, which was 16 digits. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I can remember my street address.
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Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
In Australia we have a Tax File Number which is used in very limited situations, all of which are related to tax

1) filing a tax return
2) once you are employed you give it to your employer so that tax can be taken out of your wage. It is never put on a job application.
3) for superannuation purposes
4) when applying for Centrelink payments

It isn't used for indentification purposes at all. You can open a bank account without a tax file number but if you do not give it to the bank your interest is taxed at the highest rate.

The Medicare card is used to go to the doctor, and to make any medical claims etc

My Centrelink customer number is used for dealing with Centrelink and for applying for any pensioner concessions etc

Often Australians have to provide proof of identity for various reasons (to open up a bank account, apply for government service etc) and generally you need 100 points of ID. A birth certificate or a passport is worth 70 points and most other things (Medicare Card, concession card, insurance document, paid utility bill, school record etc) are worth 25 points. has to have a 70 point document and 2 25 point document.

We do not have to show and ID to vote. When dealing with a non-government organisation I only have to show my Personal Information Card (most people show their driver's license).

I wondered how things like that worked in other countries.
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Old January 23 2015, 12:44 AM   #13
MacLeod
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Re: Another question for Americans

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
Are you assigned a Social Security number at birth, or when you start school, or does someone have to apply for it?
This might help?

And not American, but I can rattle off my National Insurance number if asked. It's not needed as much as a SSN, but it is needed from time to time, especially concerning new jobs and pay and other such things.

Is there nothing similar in Australia?
I could also rattle off my NI number if needed.
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Old January 23 2015, 12:50 AM   #14
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Another question for Americans

I know my SSN by heart.
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Old January 23 2015, 12:54 AM   #15
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Re: Another question for Americans

Pretty much sense i got my first job.
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