Allegan, MI asked in Estate Planning and Social Security for California

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.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: 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.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.