Trying to figure out if a social security number is valid? Want to know what state an SSN was issued in? For social security numbers issued before 2011, the USA Trace SSN Allocation Chart (below) can help.
How are Social Security Numbers Assigned?
Until 2011, Social Security Numbers are assigned to different regions in batches. The number is divided into 3 parts – the area numbers, the group numbers, and the serial numbers. Contrary to popular belief, social security numbers are not issued consecutively.
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The first 3 numbers represent the state in which the number was issued (see chart below). In the beginning, numbers originated in the northeast and moved westward as time went by. For this reason, people on the east coast had the lowest numbers and those on the west coast had the highest. Changes were later made, and since 1972 the Social Security Administration assigns numbers and issues cards based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the original application form. On occasion, the applicant’s mailing is not the same as his residence, so that individual’s area number doesn’t necessarily represent the state in which he/she resides. Most often, we received our SSNs as infants and that is when the area number indicates the state we were born in.
Our SSN Chart provides a state-by-state breakdown:
The Social Security Number Allocation Table
|232, 237-246||NORTH CAROLINA|
|577-579||DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA|
|586||AMERICAN SAMOA, GUAM|
|700-728||ISSUED TO RAILROAD BOARD PRIOR TO 1963 (NO LONGER USED)|
The group numbers are the two middle digits and range from 01 to 99 and they are issued by area in a state. These numbers break all the SSNs with the same area number into smaller blocks and allow for easier administration of SSNs. The Social Security Administration says that the group numbers that are issued first are the odd numbers ranging from 01 through 09, and then even numbers from 10 through 98 follow. After all the numbers in group 98 of a specific area have been used, the even groups 02 through 08 are used and the odd groups 11 through 99 follow. It’s a little complicated, but – if you’re trying to determine the approximate year an SSN was issued, try our instant (it’s free!):
The last digits of the SSN are the serial numbers. These were traditionally assigned in chronological order within the area and group numbers, although it has not always been this way. Before 1965, serial numbers may have been assigned in random order because number assignment was transferred from field offices to the central office.
Invalid SSNs – How to tell?
Below are some examples of Invalid SSNs prior to 2011:
1. Any field (group, area or serial) number with all zeroes, for example:
2. First three digits above 740
3. There is more to know about the 700 series (Ex: 7XX-XX-XXXX): These were numbers assigned to railroad workers only through July 1, 1963 and have been discontinued since that date.
4. The 800 and 900 series (Ex: 8XX-XX-XXXX, 9XX-XX-XXXX) are not in use. At one time, they were issued for the Federal Witness Protection Program.
What if I do not want a Social Security Number or I do not want my child to have one?
The Internal Revenue Service has mandated that employees have an SSN because employers need to use that number to report wages to the IRS. In order to take advantage of disability and survivor coverage, you must have a social security number.
Numbers for children are voluntary, but once again, you cannot claim a deduction on your tax return without having an SSN issued to your child. SSNs are useful for many different reasons, such as opening a bank accounts or taking advantage of government benefits. Therefore, we advise having a social security number issued for your child.
Interesting Facts about SSNs
• The program began with the The Social Security Act of 1935
• SS Taxes and benefits began in January of 1937
• In 1939, survivor benefits were added for the employee’s spouse and children
• Disability benefits began in 1965
• Medicare signed into law by Congress in 1965
• Between mid-November 1936 and 1937 more than 30 million SSN applications were processed
• SSN 055-09-0001 was designated as the first official card although it was not the lowest number
• The first official card was issued to John David Sweeney in New York, and the lowest number was issued to Grace D. Owen of Concord, New Hampshire.
• The first recipient of Social Security benefits was Ernest Ackerman with 17 cents paid to him in January 1937.
So, now you at least know the issuing state of the social security number you’re interested in. Want to go further in depth? more? Start an SSN Search below for background information, including an address history, phone numbers, public records and more!