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-   -   US Social Security Query (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/us-social-security-query-758480/)

newtohouston May 16th 2012 1:39 pm

US Social Security Query
 
Hi,

I have just received my approved petition and will be going to the Consulate next week to interview for my visa. I arrive in Houston at the end of June and start working on the 1st July.

My question pertains to the SSN - now, I know I need to get this and understand that it can take up to 30 days to receive. However, is it possible for me to get paid without the SSN card? For example, will I receive a temporary number or something which will allow me to be paid for the first month?

Thanks
Natalie

fatbrit May 16th 2012 2:02 pm

Re: US Social Security Query
 
The Social Security Administration is quite happy for you to be paid initially without a SSN. Whether your HR dept is capable of it is another matter. If you're working for a company that has employed visa holders before, they may understand the ropes. But never underestimate the utter stupidity of your average US HR.

punktlich2 May 16th 2012 4:55 pm

Re: US Social Security Query
 

Originally Posted by newtohouston (Post 10064201)
Hi,

I have just received my approved petition and will be going to the Consulate next week to interview for my visa. I arrive in Houston at the end of June and start working on the 1st July.

My question pertains to the SSN - now, I know I need to get this and understand that it can take up to 30 days to receive. However, is it possible for me to get paid without the SSN card? For example, will I receive a temporary number or something which will allow me to be paid for the first month?

Thanks
Natalie

US earnings are reported for Social Security purposes on a quarterly basis, with Form 941 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f941.pdf Discrepancies and omissions of SS numbers don't matter much, because they are definitively addressed by the W2 form at the end of the year, and the IRS/SSA will query any discrepancies eventually. There could be more of a problem with immigration issues since the SSN and a passport or US driving licence are the usual proofs of right to work. But a major employer can deal with that easily enough.

You will be paid; the issue of Social Security and Withholding tax credit comes later. It takes ten years of SS credits to be entitled to a pension (otherwise the years are totalized with your foreign (UK etc) state pension. Better to contrive to get the ten years ("40 quarters of coverage") in the USA and also pay Voluntary Class 3 NICs in the UK.

Nobody who took that advice ever regretted it. At least none who survived to pension age...

GeoffM May 16th 2012 7:06 pm

Re: US Social Security Query
 

Originally Posted by newtohouston (Post 10064201)
Hi,

I have just received my approved petition and will be going to the Consulate next week to interview for my visa. I arrive in Houston at the end of June and start working on the 1st July.

My question pertains to the SSN - now, I know I need to get this and understand that it can take up to 30 days to receive. However, is it possible for me to get paid without the SSN card? For example, will I receive a temporary number or something which will allow me to be paid for the first month?

Thanks
Natalie

You should be able to get the number within a couple of weeks of arrival - the number quoted here is 10 days; after that time head down to the SS office with your passport/visa and ask if you're in the system. Make sure they don't make a manual application which slows down the process many weeks.

In my case - YMMV - the number was issued within 4 days and the card arrived a few days after that. I was in the SS office for less than 5 minutes, though again YMMV!

Bob May 16th 2012 7:28 pm

Re: US Social Security Query
 
You've got 90 days to provide a SSN to your employer.

You can get paid while you're waiting, but till you give them the number, the maximum taxes will be withdrawn from your pay cheque.

Jscl May 17th 2012 2:32 am

Re: US Social Security Query
 
The HR person will probably give you a temporary number like 000-00-0000 for their records, and then they correct it when they get your SSN. If the HR person doesn't know what to do, their payroll place (e.g. ADP) certainly will!

Bob May 17th 2012 4:09 pm

Re: US Social Security Query
 

Originally Posted by Jscl (Post 10065661)
The HR person will probably give you a temporary number like 000-00-0000 for their records, and then they correct it when they get your SSN. If the HR person doesn't know what to do, their payroll place (e.g. ADP) certainly will!

They should be using 000-00-0004

roberth1970 May 17th 2012 5:24 pm

Re: US Social Security Query
 
My advice, wait at least 10+ days, we went on day 12 and then they sent our stuff off to Dept Homeland Security, as we were not in the system. This resulted in a longer delay than necessary....


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