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Social Security No-Match Letters Concern Employers, Company CFOs, Accountants and HR Professionals

The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed mailing Social Security "no-match" letters informing employers of mismatches between their employees' names and Social Security numbers. When an Employer receives the No-Match letter, a call is usually generated to the CFO or the Company Accountant. 

There are distinct protocols that an employer should follow to insulate itself from potential exposure. ICE has made it clear that Social Security no-match letters can, in some cases, be used as evidence of “constructive knowledge“ that an individual is not authorized to work for an employer. 

What to do if you receive a Social Security no match letter:

Follow these steps for each SSN that failed verification:

  1. Compare the failed SSN with your employment records. If you made a typographical error, correct the error and resubmit the corrected data. If the name is hyphenated, consider trying different versions of the name.
  2. If your employment records match your submission, ask your employee to check his/her Social Security card and inform you of any name or SSN difference between your records and his/her card. If your employment records are incorrect, correct your records and resubmit the corrected data. 
  3. If your employment record and the employee's Social Security card match, ask the employee to check with any local Social Security Administration (SSA) Office to resolve the issue. Once the employee has contacted the SSA Office, he/she should inform you of any changes. You should correct your records accordingly and resubmit the corrected data.
  4. If the employee is unable to provide a valid SSN, you are encouraged to document your efforts to obtain the correct information. (Documentation should be retained with payroll records for three (3) years.)
  5. If you are unable to contact the employee, you are encouraged to document your efforts.
  6. If you have already sent a Form W-2 with an incorrect name and SSN, then submit a Form W-2c (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement) to correct the mismatch. W-2c services are available through BSO Wage Reporting. There is no need to re-register for your Business Services Online (BSO) User Identification Number (User ID).

Remember

  • A mismatch is not a basis, in and of itself, for you to take any adverse action against an employee, such as laying off, suspending, firing or discriminating.
  • Company policy should be applied consistently to all workers. 
  • Any employer that uses the failure of the information to match SSA records to take inappropriate adverse action against a worker may violate State or Federal law.
  • The information you receive from SSNVS does not make any statement regarding a worker's immigration status.

For more information please visit our I-9 Compliance page or contact us for a consultation. 


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