Social Security Administration Resumes Sending out No-Match Letters

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Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed sending out No-Match letters notifying employers that the combination of name and Social Security number for employees does not match SSA’s records.  In September 14, 2007, SSA partnered with Department of Homeland Security, (DHS), who issued regulations detailing specific steps employers should take in response to receiving a “no-match” letters from SSA.  Following the issuance, DHS was prevented from implementing its proposed regulations by a court order and then DHS rescinded the regulation.  Since that time SSA had discontinued sending out any No-Match notices to employers.

The SSA has not given any instructions on what actions must be taken by employers who receive No-Match letters, but it is a best practice for employers to implement some kind of policy to insure consistent treatment of employees.   Employers should not assume that any employee who they receive notice of is necessarily ineligible to work in the U.S.  There are numerous reasons for such no-match such as: transcription errors, identity theft; marriage and name changes.

Although not required, the following steps reflect a best practice with regard to dealing with no-match letters received from SSA. 

1.  Review records for discrepancies (error or omission) in employer’s records; if no error is found, such as typographical, transcribing, or similar clerical error;

2.  Request that employee confirm the name and social security account number is accurate with the Social Security Administration;

3.  If within a reasonable time period  (90 days) the employer is unable to verify that appropriate steps have been taken to correct the discrepancy with SSA, then the employer may take steps to discipline the employee up to and including termination. As with every employment action, it is a best practice to document the steps followed with regard to any adverse action taken.