What Should Be Done After Receiving a Social Security Mismatch Letter?

In early April of 2019, the Social Security Administration revived a practice they had set aside when they resumed sending out “no-match” letters, otherwise referred to as “mismatch” letters. These letters are notices to employers that discrepancies have been found between a workers’ name and Social Security number submitted on a filed W-2 when an attempt to match them against government records was made. While mismatching can arise for a number of different reasons such as name changes or simple typographical errors, a mismatch letter can trigger fears that a worker is actually an undocumented immigrant. Employers can be unsure of what to do in the event of receiving a mismatch letter. Here, we discuss steps employers should take when in receipt of a Social Security mismatch letter.

What to Do After Receiving a Social Security Mismatch Letter

Employers, if you have received a mismatch letter, remain calm. Receipt of such a letter is not a time to do something such as fire an employee because you are afraid that he or she lacks work authorization. This letter, again, can be generated due to simple misunderstandings that are easy enough to correct. Sometimes, a mismatch occurs because an employee is the victim of fraud or identity theft. It is best to be as prepared as possible to receive a mismatch letter in the first place. Employers should think about establishing a written set of procedures regarding how to respond to no-match letters and the records that should be maintained of this response. The policy and procedures should uniformly apply to all employees to help avoid accusations of discrimination.

After receiving a mismatch letter, an employer can and should register online with the SSA business services system. This allows an employer to view the names and social security numbers that triggered the mismatch and which need to be corrected. Once the discrepancies that need to be addressed are known, the employer should be prepared to take reasonable steps to clear up the discrepancy. This will likely mean talking to the employees at issue and to confirm the name and social security you have on the form in your employment records. Refer employees to the SSA to correct the mismatch in SSA records and provide them with a reasonable amount of time to do so.

Check-in with employees about the status of correcting the mismatch with the SSA. Should the employee assert that the mismatch has been resolved, request and review the documents that demonstrate that this has happened. Keep them on file.

While the exact process an employer follows to address a mismatch letter may vary, something should be done. In this current political climate, it is unwise to ignore such a letter. Additionally, it should be noted that, in the event of an ICE I-9 audit, the notice of inspection will often request employer records about the receipt of social security no-match letters. The notice will also request evidence as to how the employer responded to the no-match letters.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com