11 May What Does Your Social Security Number Say About You?
Everybody has, or needs, one. But do you know what your social security number means? Not many people know that there is actually some logic behind those nine numbers.
These numbers have been issued to every taxpayer since 1936. Luckily, Federal law now strongly discourages the use of your social security number as an identifier and there are penalties for the release of that information to the public. It amazes my clients when I tell them where their social security number came from. I always know when someone is not originally from my area.
The first three digits of your social security number designate the geographical area for the address listed on the social security number application. Originally, these numbers were based on the office receiving the application, but after 1973, those first three digits were determined by the zip code of your residence.
The second group of digits are group numbers created as applications came in chronologically. The service started with 01 and went to 09 using odd numbers first, then even numbers to 10, then odd numbers from 11 to 99 and then even numbers to 98 for the area as determined by the geographical area. So the combination of the first group and second group of numbers will disclose the area of the application and the relative time in which the number was issued.
The last four digits are assigned sequentially from 0001 to 9999 within each group. Although it is not possible to gain access to the social security database to determine if a particular number is valid, there are some dead giveaways. For instance, there are no numbers issued with consecutive zeros and none that begin with 666.