Race and Ethnicity Data Helps All Customers – Social Security

Race and Ethnicity Data Helps All Customers – Social Security

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We are continuously working to improve our understanding of how our programs are serving the public. This work includes collection of race and ethnicity data for research and statistical purposes which helps us determine whether we are equitably serving the public.

The information applicants and customers provide is voluntary and does not affect decisions on benefit applications.

Why does it matter if people provide race and ethnicity data?

When customers choose to provide race and ethnicity information, it lets us know:

  • Who our benefit payments and programs are helping and who may be left out.
  • What unintended barriers may impact benefits and services.
  • Where to expand outreach efforts.
  • How to increase awareness among individuals and families of eligibility for programs and benefits.

In other words, race and ethnicity data can help expand access to our programs, which is one of the objectives in our Equity Action Plan. Examples of how we use this information can be found on our Racial Equity Resources website.

Currently, we collect race and ethnicity information during applications for new or replacement Social Security number (SSN) cards. These applications can be completed through our Online Social Security Number Application or internet Replacement Social Security Card tool, at one of our field offices, or at one of our card centers.

Soon, we will also voluntarily collect this information from parents in participating states during the hospital birth registration process when they request an SSN for their newborn.

We encourage you to provide your race and ethnicity information during your or your child’s application for a new or replacement SSN card so that we may better serve all our current and future customers.

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