7 CFR § 273.6(a) and (b)(1)


All EDG members applying for SNAP must provide their Social Security Number (SSN).  Individuals with multiple SSNs must provide all of them. Individuals without an SSN must apply for an SSN before approval. 

Explain to the EDG how the SSN will be used, and that providing the SSN is voluntary. However, any individual applying for SNAP who fails to provide or apply for an SSN without good cause will result in ineligibility for that individual.

Note:  Do not delay the SNAP application pending verification of a SSN by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Allow the individual to participate pending verification.

Obtaining SSNs for SNAP EDG Members

7 CFR § 273.6(b)(2)(i)-(ii) and (3)

Refer individuals who do not have an SSN to their local SSA Office to apply for an SSN.  Assist the individual: 

  • to complete the SSN application (SS-5), 
  • obtain verification required by SSA, or
  • obtain information from SSA regarding the SSN or previous application.  

Allow the individual to participate while SSA processes the application once verification of application is provided.

Refer individuals who do not remember their SSN to SSA for verification.


7 CFR § 273.6(b)(4)

Parents of a newborn child may apply for a SSN for the child at the hospital, when this service is available.  The SSN or verification of application for an SSN must be provided within 6 months following the month the baby is born, or at the next renewal, whichever is later. 

Failure to Comply

7 CFR § 273.6(c)

Individuals refusing or failing without good cause to provide or apply for an SSN, are ineligible to participate in SNAP.  The individual without the SSN is ineligible, not the entire EDG.  Count the ineligible individual’s assets.  Prorate the individual’s income and expenses/deductions. See Ineligible Members.

Determining Good Cause 

7 CFR § 273.6(d)

Verification of good cause is records or other information showing the individual applied for, or made every effort to supply the necessary information for an SSN.

This information may come from any of the following:

  • A collateral contact
  • DSS
  • The EDG/individual
  • SSA

Note:  Because SSA allows mail-in SSN applications, good cause does not include delays caused by: 

  • illness, 
  • lack of transportation, or 
  • temporary absences from the home. 

Continued Participation 

 7 CFR § 273.6(d)

Allow an individual who can show good cause for not timely completing a SSN application to participate for the month of application and one additional month.  Thereafter, the individual must show good cause monthly in order to continue participating.  

Regaining Eligibility

7 CFR § 273.6(e)

Ineligible members may become eligible by providing their SSN, or by providing verification of application for a SSN. 

Use of the SSN

7 CFR § 273.6(f)

When determining eligibility for SNAP, SSN’s may be used to: 

  • Determine the accuracy of information given by EDGs
  • Determine the amount of benefits
  • Enable mass changes in federal benefits
  • Prevent duplicate participation
  • Request and exchange income and asset information through computer matches.  See Automated Resources for more information.


7 § 273.2(f)(1)(v) & 7 CFR § 273.6(b)(1)

The SSN is automatically verified through the SSA enumeration process.  

EDGs must verify any SSN that fails enumeration, including any: 

  • differences, and
  • information DSS cannot verify.

Send the EDG a W-1348, Proofs We Need, to confirm the number, or provide another type of verification, such as but not limited to, a hard copy of the SSN or SS-5.  See Suggested Verification Sources for other acceptable sources.   

Note: Verification is not required for categorically eligible households unless the SSN is questionable. 


See Verification Requirements by Element and Action.

See Suggested Verification Sources.

Case Notes

7 CFR § 273.2(f)(6)

Enter the following actions in case notes:

  • Claims of good cause 
  • Collateral contacts
  • Failure to cooperate 
  • Worker efforts to assist the individual to apply for, or obtain, an SSN.

Last Update

Source #

Effective Date: