At your bankruptcy hearing, you are supposed to show your bankruptcy trustee a picture ID and evidence of your social security number. The best way to prove your social security number is with your social security card. However, a W-2 will also work. (At the bankruptcy court here in Alexandria, VA, your own tax form is usually not good enough.)
For self employed people, there may be no W-2. So what to do?
Being self employed myself–and having lost my own social security card ten or more years ago–I decided to see how hard it is to go to the social security office and get them to send me a new card. (Since I’m near age 65, I thought a probably should do something about it, anyway.)
It wasn’t too bad. I went to the social security office in Manassas, a few blocks from the Prince William Court House. The whole process took an hour and twenty minutes. Wait in line, fill in a form, wait some more, show my driver’s license to somebody, who put info into a computer and had a new card mailed to me. (They will also give you a letter on the spot, saying what your social security number is.)
To fill in the form, I needed to know what my social security number is, know my parents names and know where I was born. (The form asks for my parents social security numbers, but not having them wasn’t a problem–there was a box to check unknown.) And of course I needed my Virginia driver’s license. A passport would also work.
Besides Manassas, they also have offices in Alexandria, Arlington and Fredericksburg.
You can also apply by mailing to your nearest social security office. But that doesn’t work very well. Why? You need to mail your ORIGINAL picture id. I don’t recommend mailing your driver’s license to social security and driving around without it for a month until they get back to you. If you have a passport and you aren’t going anywhere, you could mail that.
At least once a month, we have bankruptcy clients who only figure out at the last minute that they don’t have their social security card. As I said, a W-2 or a 1099 will also work. But in this security conscious time we are living in, probably getting a replacement social security card issued is a good idea.