Social Security Numbers
The United States runs on Social Security numbers. You need them to get paid, to get a bank account, credit card, life, etc.
The closest Social Security office is located in Patchogue, NY.
It is open 9am-4pm weekdays, except for Wednesdays when it closes at 12pm, but it is advisable to go around noon. Here are the documents you need to take to the SSN office
- I20 form
- Application Form
- Letter of identification (Donnie will give you this)
- Letter of employment signed by the graduate director (Jac) giving all the specifics about your TA/RA employment.
There will be a casual interview just asking about your work and PhD. Nothing serious. It takes roughly 4-7 weeks to get your SSN card. It is usually mailed to the address you provide.
You can and will start getting paid even if you don't have your SSN. But that grace period is only for a couple of paychecks, after which it will be held at the HR services at Stony Brook. In the rare case that you have done all the formalities but it is just taking time from the government's end, they have been known to be more considerate and continue paying you. It is next to useless to call the SSN office, you will be speaking to a robot all the time.