What If I Lost My Documents?
If you lost your documents or can’t locate them, you still have time to obtain new copies before applying for Medicare. This involves contacting your state or local offices for copies of records and other documents that you might not have readily available. Here’s how you can obtain new copies.
If you can’t find your original birth certificate, you can reach out to the Vital Records Office in the state where you were born. There may be a fee to get a copy of your birth certificate, as well as for expedited service.
If you are an American born abroad, your parents might have registered your birth with the U.S. embassy or consulate. For a copy of the report, reach out to the U.S. Department of State or contact your birth hospital.
Permanent Resident Card
If you’ve lost your Permanent Resident Card, fill out Form I-90, the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will need to provide the required documentation and pay a filing fee. If your application is approved, you’ll receive a receipt that shows proof of your permanent resident status for 12 months from the expiration date.
Additionally, the fee is $455; a biometric services fee of $85 may be required as well. You can pay the nonrefundable fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card. Be sure to use Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, to complete the application.
Certificate of Citizenship
To request a copy of your Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, or any other special certificate of naturalization, use USCIS’s Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, which can be submitted online or by mail. The filing fee is currently $555, and if you decide to file by mail, you must pay the nonrefundable filing fee via money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card using Form G-1450.
Military Service Records
If you’re a veteran or next of kin, you can obtain free copies of DD Form 214 (Report of Separation) through the National Archives for Veterans’ Service Records. These records can be processed in approximately 10 days.
Alternatively, you can request your military service records at no cost through an online VA portal. In order to retrieve the records, you will need to sign into the VA’s milConnect portal and create a Premium DS Logon account. You can also mail or fax a Request Pertaining to Military Records to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). Alternatively, you can obtain Form SF 180, write a letter to the NPRC, or contact your county’s veterans’ agency.
To provide proof of earnings, you can access your yearly earnings totals for free by completing the Request for Social Security Earnings Information (Form SSA-7050). However, if you need more itemized or detailed earnings information that is not related to Social Security programs, keep in mind that there will typically be a fee attached.
Submitting Without Copies
If you don’t have some of the copies of the documentation, try reaching out to Social Security. You can most likely request copies through your state’s records bureau as well.