Replacing Lost Important Life Documents

Medicare CardIf you’ve ever lost your birth certificate, Social Security card, or Medicare card, you know how stressful it can be not only worrying about where the documents went, but how to replace them

The Savvy Senior column from The Oklahoman tackles this dilemma. Here’s how you can replace these important life documents:

Birth certificate: If you were born in the United States, contact the vital records office in the state where you were born (see cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm for contact information). This office will give you specific instructions on what you need to do to order a certified copy and what it will cost you.

Social Security card: In Wisconsin ou can replace a lost or stolen Social Security card for free and online at ssa.gov/ssnumber. It’s important to be reminded tthat losing your Social Security card puts you at risk for identity theft. If you find that someone uses your Social Security number to obtain credit, loans, telephone accounts or other goods and services, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission at IdentityTheft.gov or (877) 438-4338).

Medicare card: To replace your Medicare card for free, just call Social Security at (800) 772-1213 or contact your local Social Security office. You can also request one online at ssa.gov/myaccount. Your card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days. Beware of Medicare fraud with lost Medicare cards.

 

Passport: A lost passport also puts you at risk for identity theft, so you need to report this as soon as possible to the U.S. State Department. Go to travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/lost-stolen.html and fill out Form DS-64. Make sure to follow the State Department’s next steps carefully.