Social Security Administration (SSA)
Enumeration Processing Time
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The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for the assigning of Social Security numbers, a process called enumeration. SSA issues a Social Security card (original and any later replacement) to each individual assigned a Social Security number.
Most new numbers result from a process called enumeration-at-birth which allows parents to apply for a Social Security number for a newborn child while in the hospital in conjunction with their State’s Bureau of Vital Records. Other new numbers are the result of a process known as enumeration-at-entry which allows qualified immigrants to apply for a Social Security number as part of their entry into the United States. Some new number applications are taken directly by SSA, as are requests for replacement cards.
One category covered by this dataset is from applications made in person at our local offices for either new or replacement cards. We issue replacement cards to people whose cards have been lost (or stolen) but the Social Security number is the same as on their original card. We separate data for direct SSA applications so we can focus on the timeliness of this process since the application is handled by Social Security employees. The other category contained in this public dataset is a data point for the time it takes outside of SSA’s processing for handling new number applications from the enumeration-at-birth process.
For applications taken by SSA, we monitor the time it takes to process new and replacement Social Security cards. We produce average processing time by dividing the total number of days it takes to issue new or replacement cards by the total number of cards issued. For applications from the enumeration-at-birth process, we monitor the time it takes to get the application and paperwork to SSA. We produce the average processing time in weeks based on the time it takes in each state to complete and forward the application and associated documents to SSA.
For more information about and state level data for processing time for enumeration at birth go to
A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits, and receive some other government services. Many other businesses, such as banks and credit companies, also ask for the number. If you are a noncitizen living in the United States, you also may need a Social Security number.
You can find a description of SSA’s enumeration process and details on how to apply for a card depending on your specific circumstances at:
This dataset provides quarterly average enumeration processing time in days at the national level beginning in 2014 for new or replacement cards issued by Social Security Field Offices or Card Centers where the public visits the field office or card center to request an original or replacement card in person. This processing time does not include replacement card applications completed over the internet, which began rolling out in certain locations in fiscal year 2016. We are providing the data for each of the two categories-new and replacement cards- and for a combined total of new and replacement cards issued by field offices or card centers.
This dataset also provides the average time in weeks at the national level for the calendar quarter beginning 2014 for the non-SSA portion of the enumeration-at-birth process.
Information is collected and entered into Social Security’s system when an application for a new or replacement card is made. Management information is generated from the enumeration programmatic system. The data in this dataset is extracted from the agency’s SUMS Enumeration Operational Data Store.
Field A: Timeframe – month/quarter ending.
Field B: Original SSNs – The average number of days used by the processing office and system to complete original Social Security number applications taken through the interview and batch process during the operating quarter. The average excludes applications taken via enumeration-at-birth, enumeration-at-entry, claims, and a centralized location called Metro West.
Field C: Replacement Cards – The average number of days used by the processing office and system to complete replacement Social Security number applications taken through the interview and batch process during the operating quarter. The average excludes applications taken via enumeration-at-birth, enumeration-at-entry, claims, and a centralized location called Metro West.
Field D: Average Total Time – The average number of days used by the processing office and system to complete original and replacement Social Security number applications taken through the interview and batch process during the operating quarter. The average excludes applications taken via enumeration-at-birth, enumeration-at-entry, claims, and a centralized location called Metro West.
Field E: Enumeration at birth average non-SSA time – The average national time in weeks for the quarter ending in the indicated month for non-SSA handling of enumeration-at-birth applications.
Other Information About our Enumeration Process
For information about requesting an original SSN or replacement card go to
For information about how long it takes to get a replacement Social Security card go to
For information about the random assignment of SSNs go to
For information about SSN verification services go to