This search verifies that the applicant’s name, social security number, and date of birth all match. This service allows employers to match an employee’s name and Social Security number with records kept by the Social Security Administration. 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 social security number response likely means that the person assigned to that number is now deceased.

If the social security number or name doesn’t match SSA records then 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 SSN.
  • 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, firing, 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 the E-Verify system (Hosted by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, instantly verifies if someone is eligible to work in the United States). Verifying one’s social security number doesn’t mean that they are authorize to work (this is a major misconception that employers have with this particular search), it verifies the identity of the social security number.

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