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Delay in getting Social Security Number (SSN) because offices are closed

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  • Delay in getting Social Security Number (SSN) because offices are closed

    Hi all - I recently entered US for the first time on my L1 visa (which was issued back in January). However, I am facing delays in getting a Social Security Number as all offices are temporarily closed. In the meantime, I am trying to apply for an ITIN number for taxes. However, for Apartment and Medical insurance, I believe most landlord and insurance providers may need an SSN.

    Do you have any guidance in terms of how should I navigate getting an apartment and medical insurance until I get an SSN? Will the medical insurance providers be okay with a delay in SSN and I can just keep it pending until I receive it? Or will they be able to use ITIN?

  • #2
    You can start work without an SSN as you are on an L1 visa. However, you must apply for and show the SSN to the employer usually within 90 days.
    Call the SSN hotline and request for an in person appointment at the SSA. While offices are closed, they do make exceptions in extreme cases (yours is one such case where you cannot get medical or housing without an SSN)

    Not sure why the medical insurance company is asking for an SSN. If your medical is through the workplace, the HR department can send them an email stating you are new to the US and won't have an SSN for a while. Should not stop them from starting your benefits.

    SSN is not a required by law for housing. However, most apartments / housing facilities ask for an SSN as your background / history / evictions / court records etc are tied to it.
    I would recommend you get a letter from your HR stating that you are new to the US and are working towards getting the SSN. The delay is due to Covid. This letter, along with your passport & entry stamp proves you are new to the country.
    In such cases, housing agencies may require 2X deposit.

    Opinion only. Cannot be construed as legal advice.