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“Not Valid for Employment” Social Security Cards & the EIC

There are three different types of cards issued by the Social Security Administration. The first one is the standard card that we have all seen which is issued to U.S. citizens and individuals lawfully admitted to the United States on a permanent basis. These individuals are eligible for the Earned Income Credit if all other requirements are met.

The second card reads “Valid for Work only with DHS Authorization.” These types of card are issued to people lawfully admitted to the United States on a temporary basis who have DHS (Department of Homeland Security) authorization to work. These individuals are also eligible to receive the Earned Income Credit if all other requirements are met.

The third type of card states “Not Valid for Employment.” These cards are issued to people from other countries:

  • Who are lawfully admitted to the United States without work authorization from DHS, but with a valid nonwork reason for needing a Social Security number; or
  • Who need a number because of a federal law requiring a Social Security number to get a benefit or service such as Medicaid.

Individuals whose Social Security card says “Not Valid for Employment” are not eligible for the Earned Income credit. If the person’s immigration status has changed and they are now a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they should request a new card from the Social Security Administration.

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