Re: Social Security card applications #general


While there is certainly a possibility that one or more of the relatives
you cite had a Social Security number, the odds are good that they did
not. In the 1950s, women who did not work outside the home usually did
not have Social Security numbers. Until the mid-1970s, it was not
necessary to have a number of one's own to collect on another person's
record, so women receiving wife's or widow's benefits, e.g., need not
have had their own Social Security number. Self-employment was not
covered under Social Security until 1951. The IRS did not adopt Social
Security numbers as their official taxpayer identification numbers until
1962. If your grandfather was still working in the 1950s, he almost
definitely had a Social Security number, but if he was retired before
then, he may not have. However, that said, there may have been reasons
that you don't know about for them to have had numbers. Perhaps your
grandfather did some other work during WWII as part of the war effort.
In the 1950s, my retired grandfather, who had been self-employed, was
given a part-time job by my father, who was in the same business, to get
him some Social Security coverage - enough for him to qualify for Special
Age 72 (Prouty) benefits, a benefit available to people over a certain
age who needed very limited time under Social Security to get something
because most of their working lives was before the advent of Social
Security. It may be that those who were old enough did not need any
coverage at all, though I don't remember that for sure. The JewishGen
Info files would no doubt tell you what info. is on the card

Lynne Shapiro
Western Mass.

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