Should We Continue to Use Social Security Numbers?

We have discussed several data breaches that have exposed the Social Security numbers of millions of Americans. Photo of Social Security cards

Because of these breaches and instances of fraud, recently ABC News had an interesting column asking if we should “kill the Social Security number” when it comes to filing income taxes. According to the report, from April 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2014, the IRS stopped 19 million suspicious tax returns, many of which were the result of identity theft involving Social Security numbers.

“The IRS would have fewer tax fraud problems if it kicked its addiction to Social Security numbers and found a new way for taxpayers to identify themselves,” the column said. The piece then goes on to say that Social Security numbers were never meant to be used as identifiers when they were introduced.

The column indicated that it may be wise to move on to better technology or an “online user authentication system that would become an Internet ID that people could use to perform multiple tasks and aid interactions with the federal and state government.”

Protecting Your Social Security Number

In a March blog, we discussed the various ways you can protect your Social Security number from theft. While it is alarming that individuals are using Social Security numbers to participate in fraud, it should not dissuade people from applying for Social Security Administration benefits.

If you have questions about applying for disability benefits, you can visit our Social Security FAQ page.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers


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