How to live without a Social Security Number
Hey! We Moved to America!
Let me give everyone a very big piece of advice.
Get your visa early and apply for the social security number at the same time!
We had an inkling this was important but the American legal company took a very long time and we only got the visas a week before we left.
When we went to the social security office we found that it would take 3 to 4 weeks to get a number.
We are now trying to exist without a Social Security Number which is actually quite difficult unless you have lots of cash.
“What do you need an SSN for?”, I hear you ask. Well basically anything which needs credit.
“Don’t get stuff on credit then”, you might reply.
A great idea except…
Do you want to rent a house?
Do you want to lease a car?
Do you want an American driving license?
Do you want medical insurance? (Register for a Doctor or a Dentist?)
Do you want TV?
Do you want a home phone?
Do you want internet?
Do you want a mobile (cell-phone)?
and…Do you want to get paid?!
The immigration website says you don’t need an SSN but we have found a different story.
To take on any contract, especially one that involves providing ‘free’ equipment at the start, requires a credit check. To get a credit check you must have a social security number.
To get PAID requires a social security number.
We are having to exist on the small amount of cash we brought out and the good nature of the American people we are meeting.
Even our credit cards are being stopped even though we rang them before we came out and told them what we were doing.
OK, so how are we managing?
Firstly my company have taken on the lease. Phew. They have made it so we actually had somewhere to live when we came out.
Next, we are driving a hire car for a few weeks. Expensive but what choice do we have?
Next, after a couple of weeks of strain, the landlord agreed to arrange the AT&T bundle of TV, Home Phone and Internet! It can be added to the rent so buys some time as well as gets the service.
Keep ringing the credit card company to keep them going. Of course this is expensive using a sterling CC for dollar purchases. Well we gotta live.
We then got into discussions with the company to give us an advance payment. Some cash to tide us over till we have the social security number and can actually get paid.
Lets just hope we don’t get ill!
And that we don’t run out of credit! We would go hungry.
It’s a fantastic place and a friendly nation. Life will be even better when we are recognised as people by the state!