Must I provide a Social Security number (SSN) to any business or government agency that asks?
The SSN was originally devised to keep an accurate record of each individual’s earnings, and to subsequently monitor benefits paid under the Social Security program. However, use of the Social Security number as a general identifier has grown to the point where it is the most commonly used and convenient identifier for all types of record-keeping systems in the United States.
Specific laws require a person to provide his or her SSN for certain purposes. While we cannot give you a comprehensive list of all situations where an SSN might be required or requested, an SSN is required or requested by the following organizations: