A recent National Law Review article reported that in 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will restart its mismatch letter notification program. Through mismatch letters—formally titled Employer Correction Requests—the SSA notifies employers that the social security number (SSN) and name reported for one or more employees does not match SSA records. These notification letters advise employers that a SSN mismatch is not an assumption of SSN falsification or other misconduct. Mismatches can be caused by typographical errors, unreported name changes, incomplete records, or SSN misuse. In any event, employers who receive such letters must act promptly and are advised to document the steps taken to resolve the discrepancy.
Employers who receive a mismatch letter should check their personnel records for the employee in question to confirm the information in company records matches that provided by the SSA. Simple typographical errors or name discrepancies that led to a mismatch generally can be rectified quickly by submitting this information to the SSA. In the event the mismatch is not based on employer error, the employer should notify the employee of the mismatch, preferably in writing—and in turn, the employee must then resolve the mismatch. However, employers will remain responsible for ensuring the process is complete. To do so, employers may follow up with each impacted employee to confirm the steps they are taking and that a resolution does occur. Again, employer documentation of these steps is recommended.
It is important that employers not take adverse employment action (including formal discipline, termination, or informal forms of negative treatment) against employees solely based upon the notice that a mismatch has occurred. Employers must allow time for the employee to address and resolve the mismatch. In the event a mismatch cannot be resolved or SSN misuse is confirmed, employers should contact legal counsel to determine the appropriate steps to take with regard to the involved employee.
How We Can Help
A-Check Global provides our clients two methods to either verify or associate a social security number.
The Social Security Trace Report provides employers with an “association” between a social security number and the information housed by one of the major credit bureaus linked to the individual SSN. The report reveals information captured when the SSN is used for financial purposes like credit financing, leasing, student loans and even some court actions including judgments and liens. It can reveal additional alias names and addresses associated with the applicant not included in information provided by the applicant on their resume or application. The Social Security Trace Report may returned with a “no hit” result. This does not necessarily mean the social security number does not belong to the applicant or serve as an indication the applicant was untruthful. It may simply mean the applicant has not developed a credit history and/or the social security number was recently issued.
The Consent Based Social Security Verification or CBSV Report “verifies” a social security number and name coincide with Social Security Administration records. With the consent of the applicant, A-Check uses the CBSV report to verify the name and SSN provided by the applicant match the records maintained by the Social Security Administration.
Both the Social Security Trace Report and Consent Based Social Security Verification are valuable tools in mitigating hiring risk. Employers simply choose the right option to meet their specific screening needs.
And remember A-Check Global’s teams of dedicated professionals are available to answer any additional questions.