PALATKA, Fla. -- Tanner, 17, was born in Gainesville, Fla. and at one time had a valid Social Security card but lost it. Now, his mother, Wendy Andrews, is trying to get a replacement and discovered it is not as easy as it seems.
"Either you need a school ID which he doesn't have one because he is in private school, or a state ID or a passport," said Andrews,"but in order to get one of those, he needs to have a Social Security card."
Tanner is autistic and doesn't quite understand what his mom is trying to do, but he knows it is in his best interest.
"I might need one (Social Security card)," he said.
Andrews said a replacement card is now critical because of her child's education; he's on a scholarship.
"He needs it for his scholarships" she said, "because he's on scholarship so he can attend a private school."
Under Social Security guidelines, you can use a birth certificate to prove your child's age or citizenship but you cannot use it as proof of identity.
"It is very frustrating because I know he's going to need it," said Andrews.
Andrews said there used to be a Social Security office in Putnam County but that's closed so she has been trying to resolve her problem by phone and that has only added to her frustration.
"I never thought it was going to be this hard to get a replacement card," she said," I could see if he had never had a card or he was an illegal alien. I don't understand why they can't just issue him a replacement."
Frank Viera with the Atlanta Social Security office would not comment on the specifics, but said they will help.
"We will contact Ms. Andrews and provide any necessary assistance," said Viera.
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