View Full Version : If I didn't have a social security number...

typo mna
06-04-2001, 01:06 AM
what would happen? My mother divulged recently that, when I was born (in 1976), she and my father very seriously considered not registering me with social security, so I wouldn't be drafted. Their practicality won out over their ideals, and I was registered. I'm curious, though, what inconveniences/obstacles would I face if I didn't exist as a number?

Azura Borealis
06-04-2001, 01:18 AM
No Social Security Benefits, No Passport, No Drivers License, NO CREDIT REPORT!!!! (Which I would like to do without right now) Of course that would mean you couldn't get anything on credit....
The Inability To Obtain Legitimate Employment In The US - Alot of other wierd things I'm sure. Wouldn't matter though if you wanted to be a hermit.

But actually - I read something a few years ago - where several men from California, went before the court system, and claimed that the Social Security number was symbolical of taking the mark of the beast, went ballistic in front of the judges, demanding they be allowed to disown them... and somehow managed to have themselves ridden of their SS#'s - It was replaced somehow with something else, of an identifying nature, but i'm not quite sure what. I'll definately have to go look that up now.

It seems to me, if you wanted something done, or undone, legally, regarding your name, or existance, in this that it could be done if you tried hard enough - a friend of mine in Seattle legally had a Star added to his name. *laffs*

Milton De La Warre
06-04-2001, 05:59 AM
You'd have a hell of a time getting through life without an SSN, and in your case you could thank your parents for that. Which might make a good defense at your trial.

Actually, at this particular hospital location, we use SSNs to ensure we have the right patient record with the right patient (always a good idea). It's not unusual to ask "What's your last 4?" meaning what's the last four digits of your SSN. So while we might have quite a few Cecil Adams', we would be less likely to have more than one or two Cecil Adams A0001. (BTW, IAW the Privacy Act of 1974, any piece of paper with a complete SSN on it has to be shredded instead of just tossed in the recycle bin.)

We occasionally get a person who says they've got to be the only one with X particular odd name. They never are, no matter how odd the name. I had a young lady who came through with one of those born-in-the-redwoods names like Starshine Raboniwitz. She maintained she had to be the only one with that name, and I showed her in just about 10 seconds that there was another individual in our records with the same first name, last name, and middle initial. Their SSN's were only off by a few digits, and they'd been born only a few weeks apart.

We also get patients with no SSN at all. Sometimes these are newborns, and other times they are non-US people who by definition would have no SSN but need an ID for patient tracking and safe ID purposes. The computer generates a psuedo SSN based on the 800 series numbers (not used by the Social Security Administartion) and month, day, and year of birth. Where there are 2 people with the same DOB, the second becomes 801-xx-xxxx, the third 802, and so on. In the case of US citizen newborns, we go in later and correct the pseudo-social to their actual assigned one.

Bottom line: You need all the unique individual ID you can get. Unless, of course, you don't want to have an identity. Not having an identity would suck worse than having someone steal the one you do have.

06-05-2001, 12:40 AM
It can be done, but not without difficulty. Neil McIver chronicles his life without a SSN at http://www.cjmciver.org/free.shtml.

typo mna
06-05-2001, 01:37 AM
Thanks, ricepad, interesting reading. It should be noted, however, that you included a period at the end of the url, which needs to be removed for maximum reading enjoyment.

06-05-2001, 01:41 AM
This should work...http://www.cjmciver.org/free.shtml

06-05-2001, 02:12 AM
AFAIK, SSN are not used for the draft and that is why they ask you register for 'selective service'

John Bredin
06-05-2001, 12:13 PM
"My mother divulged recently that, when I was born (in 1976), she and my father very seriously considered not registering me with social security, so I wouldn't be drafted."

Wasn't the "all-volunteer army" policy in place by 1976?

06-05-2001, 12:28 PM
Cecil on Social Security cards.

"When social security numbers were first issued in 1936, such shenanigans didn't matter much, because the only thing you were supposed to do with the number was submit it to your employer when you started a new job."

typo mna
06-05-2001, 08:55 PM
Wasn't the "all-volunteer army" policy in place by 1976?

Can't say, I had other things on my mind at the time. I think that, having recently been appalled by the Vietnam war, they were hoping to save me from the possibility of a draft in the future.

06-05-2001, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by John Bredin
Wasn't the "all-volunteer army" policy in place by 1976?

Yes, but we 18+ year old American males must register in case they ever need to restart the draft.

06-05-2001, 10:09 PM
SSN has more recently been used as an identifier. For example in college (I went in the early 80s) if you didn't want to use your SSN you could get an ID from the school. Catch was that if you did that NOW 20 years later if you lost your ID it'd be heck trying to get your records.

When I got my licence renewed in 87 they asked me whether I wanted my SSN on my Driver's Licence.

When I went in 91 to renew they told me it MUST be on it.

06-06-2001, 01:12 AM
Was it common to get a SSN for infants in 1976? I was born in 1975, and I believe I didn't get mine until I was in elementary school. (It has a very neat, cursive signature.) The only reason I got one then was because the IRS started requiring a SSN for each dependant you claimed. If it weren't for that, I don't think the average person would need one until his or her first job (except, of course, that they are such handy identifiers for your medical records, as JCHeckler mentioned.)

Your parents would likely have regretted their decision when you became a teenager. "Stop playing video games, get off the couch, and get a job!" "But, I can't! Do you want me to get drafted?" :)