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Ask Social Security to replace newborn son’s missing card

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Question: My son was born in October at Kapiolani Medical Center. We have not yet received his Social Security card. I called Kapiolani several times and was told it would take 30, 60, then 90 days. When will we get it?

Answer: You are advised to go in person to a Social Security Administration office and request a replacement card since it’s been eight to 10 weeks since your son’s birth.

"At that time we can check to see if a number was issued or never issued," said Tessy Yokota, staff assistant in the Social Security Administration’s Honolulu office. "That’s the only way" to get that information.

Sometimes the problem is that a wrong address was given or the family moved, she said. If a card was issued, a replacement will be given. If one was never issued, you would have to apply from scratch.

There are two Social Security offices on Oahu: Prince Kuhio Federal Building, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 1123; and Halekuai Center, 563 Farrington Highway, Suite 201, Kapolei. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

The parent applying should bring the infant’s birth certificate, plus an ID document, such as a hospital record, clinic record or a signed statement from the infant’s doctor, written on the doctor’s stationery, giving the infant’s name and date of birth. The parent also has to show a government-issued photo ID.

Shawn Nakamoto, spokeswoman for Kapiolani Medical Center, said birth certificate clerks at the hospital provide required data to the Health Department within seven days of a birth.

Birth certificate information usually includes a request for a Social Security number, unless no name has yet been given to the baby. The hospital has no direct contact with the Social Security Administration.

The Health Department also doesn’t have anything to do with Social Security numbers except that it passes on requests for a number for an infant to the Social Security Administration, said Alvin Onaka, state registrar of vital statistics.

The department does so as part of a nationwide program called "Enumeration at Birth," he said.

At a baby’s birth, parents are asked whether they want a Social Security number for the child. If they check "yes," that information is forwarded to the Social Security Administration.

"We are just the information messenger," Onaka said. The Social Security number is not provided to the Health Department.

The process can take 30 days or more but generally not as long as it’s taken in your case.

Question: How can I claim damage to my car from potholes?

Answer: On city roadways, call the city Corporation Counsel’s Office at 768-5222.

That’s the number to get a form for any kind of claim against the city.

On state roadways, including the freeways, call the Department of Transportation’s Highway Division hot line at 831-6714. That’s the number to call for any kind of complaint or concern involving a state road.

MAHALO

To Dr. Stroman, Dr. McDevitt and the staff at the Urgent Care Clinic in Kona on the Big Island. They went the extra mile, looking after what appeared to be a venomous insect or jellyfish sting to my ankle on Jan. 10. A receptionist even called my home and updated my daughter, asking me to return for a follow-up. My wife and I just loved the people and weather, and can’t wait to relax again on Hapuna Beach. — Del and Carolyn Corsi, Kamloops, B.C.

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Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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