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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16576
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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I am a social worker working with a client who came from a

Customer Question

I am a social worker working with a client who came from a foster care program. He reportedly was born in the US Virgin Islands but has never been able to secure a copy of a birth certificate to attest to this fact (we tried both the US and British VI Offices). He was brought here (NY) by an "uncle" at approximately age 9 but never enrolled in any school. He is a limited young man making background information difficult to substantiate. He is now in his late 30s. Has been incarcerated and pretty much lived a marginal existence since leaving foster care with the agency. Through the Legal Aid Society he has been able to get an NYC HRA ID and Benefit Card and thus some form of minimal assistance. But further help or even employment or disability require a social security card. What can we do? Is there a process by which he can be "legalized" to get a social security identity without his birth certificate. The only concrete suggestion we received was to go back to the Virgin Islands to get someone who could attest they knew of him or his family and this could be the basis. But it is over 30 years and his memory and information is questionable both because of the time and his disability factors. Suggestions????
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Megan C replied 1 year ago.

It's great you are kind and wanting to help this person, but from what you are saying -- why should US taxpayers foot the resource for someone you say has a 'marginal' existence and who has been incarcerated? Without a birth certificate his options are limited. It's a catch-22 but doesn't sound like this is a good option for taxpayer resources. Perhaps the better option would be to find a religious organization or charity willing to help. It's hard, I know --- but this sounds like a lost cause. I would move to the next case and assist someone who is verifiably American.