This past Thursday, the Social Security Administration announced that citizens would be able to apply for replacement Social Security card documents online. Although the program only applies to basic card replacements, it will expedite the process for many Americans who had to physically wait in line at a government building in order to fill out the paperwork for renewal. The program will first be introduced to Wisconsin and Washington state before extending to the rest of the nation.

Nancy Berryhill, the deputy commissioner for operations at the Social Security Administration, said, “It’s not only convenient for the public, but also for our field employees. It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a long time.”

The development of the program was lengthy due to the issues of authenticating and securing individuals’ identities. Those who apply for replacement cards online will have to sign up for a “my Social Security” account and answer personal questions from their credit history, provided by the Equifax credit-card rating bureau. The account will also ask for a driver’s license or state ID card numbers, to be compared to the records of individual states. Lastly, a fraud protection review will scan the submitted information for a authenticity.

Rob Klopp, the deputy commissioner of systems and the agency’s chief information officer, said that the agency is still researching methods to recognize fraud. “We’re going to learn how others try to game us,” he said.

Article via The Washington Post, November 19, 2015

Photo: The Bank of Queue via tubb [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]