I had my wallet stolen in 1974 in Berkeley CA. No biggie - I replaced my travelers checks, and when I got back home to NY, replaced my drivers license. I didn't worry about my SS card, because I knew my number... heck, I was just a student.
In 1982, I got a call from the Secret Service & a visit from an FBI agent. They had picked up someone in NYC during a Presidential visit who was carrying my ID from 1974.
After that, I occassionally tried to get a duplicate SS card, tried to update my name; I would fill out all the forms, send off all the required documents, and nothing would happen - it was not until last year (and a flurry of phone calls to various governtment offices) that I was finally able to get a new card - I HAD to get a new card to renew my drivers license! A $5 renewal fee turned into a $100 ordeal (certified birth certificate, certified marraige license, etc., and then a late fee on the license because it took 6 weeks for NYC's department of records to find my records!)
As with mud, life, too, slides by.