Q: I am trying to help my mentally ill brother obtain a SSN. He is 57 and a U.S. citizen with no ID
I live in Michigan, he was born in Illinois and I can get him a birth certificate, he has no photo ID at all. He needs it to travel to see our mother who is dying of cancer. He lives in Venice Beach, CA and has no bank account, drivers license, or job that would give him a payroll check. He is a "gig" worker.
Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) for your mentally ill brother can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. Here are some steps that can be taken:
Obtain his birth certificate: As your brother was born in Illinois, you can contact the Illinois Department of Public Health or the Vital Records Office in the county where he was born to request a copy of his birth certificate. Once you have his birth certificate, you can use it to apply for his SSN.
Gather other documents: As your brother does not have a photo ID, you will need to gather other documents that can be used as proof of identity. This could include a health insurance card, a school record, a marriage or divorce certificate, or a record of military service.
Complete an SS-5 form: The SS-5 form is the application for a Social Security card. You can download the form from the Social Security Administration's (SSA) website, or you can obtain a paper copy from your local Social Security office. Make sure to fill out the form completely and accurately.
Submit the application: You can submit the completed SS-5 form along with the required documents to your local Social Security office. You can find your nearest office by visiting the SSA's website or by calling their toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213.
Follow up: After submitting the application, you should receive your brother's Social Security card in the mail within two to four weeks. If you do not receive it within that time frame, you should follow up with the SSA to check on the status of the application.
Note that as a U.S. citizen, your brother is entitled to a Social Security number, and the SSA should not deny his application solely because he does not have a photo ID. However, it may take some additional effort to gather the necessary documentation and prove his identity without a photo ID.
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