This search verifies that the applicant’s name, social security number (SSN), and date of birth all match. This service allows employers to match an employee’s name and SSN with records kept by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social security number verification is used for W-2 wage reporting purposes (Internal Revenue Service Wage and Tax Statement) to ensure the records of current and former employees are correct.
This greatly aids employers in avoiding additional processing costs for unmatched records. This search will determine if in fact a social security number is active or inactive. An inactive SSN response likely means that the person assigned to that number is now deceased.
If the social security number or name does not match SSA records, the Social Security Administrations advises the following:
- This response does not imply that you or your employee intentionally provided incorrect information about the employee’s name or social security number.
- This response does not make any statement about your employee’s immigration status.
- This response is not a basis, in and of itself, to take any adverse action against the employee, such as laying off, suspending, terminating, or discriminating against the employee.
If employers are seeking to verify an applicant’s authorization to work in the United States, they are encouraged to utilize E-Verify, which is an internet-based system hosted by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. This system instantly verifies if an individual is eligible to work in the United States. A major misconception that employers have with this particular search is that verifying an individual’s social security number does not mean that said individual is authorized to work. It merely verifies the identity of the social security number received.