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SSN verification service responses now gender-free

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

This isn’t good news for employees named Chris, Pat or Robin. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it has removed the verification of gender from its Social Security Number Verification Services (SSNVS).

SSNVS matches employees’ names and Social Security numbers (SSNs) in real time. The service is free and is available through the SSA’s Business Services Online suite of services (www.ssa.gov/bso/).

SSNVS verification results

Name/SSN combos that match receive a blank verification result. Mismatch codes: The first five positions of an employee’s SSN are masked with Xs for failed verifications that are tagged with verification codes 3 (name matches, date of birth doesn’t match) or 6 (SSN didn’t verify, other reason). Other  failed verification codes include 1 (SSN not in file/never issued) and 5 (name doesn’t match, date of birth not checked).

SSNVS verification ramifications

An SSNVS verification response that an employee’s name/SSN combo doesn’t match can occur for myriad reasons. Most common: Female employees got married or divorced and they never changed their names with the SSA.

For mismatches not involving marital status, eliminate the possibility that you made a mistake when entering employees’ data into your system by asking to take another look at their Social Security cards. Then, try SSNVS again with the updated data. If you get a second mismatch verification, tell them to visit an SSA office to clear up the discrepancy.

Regardless of how mismatches arise, it’s crucial to follow up with employees. If they can’t square up everything with the SSA, termination may be an option. Red flag: Before you fire, be sure you have a company policy that sets out the (reasonable) length of time you’re willing to wait for employees to resolve their issues, and that termination may result. Employees, of course, should be aware of the policy before you take adverse action.

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Chuck Salvia February 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

WARNING: Per the SSA, it is unlawful to use SSNVS for identity verification. SSNVS is only for wage/tax reporting purposes.

SSA has a better service called Consent Based SSN Verification (CBSV) which is valid pre-hire, post-hire, for applicants of all types (clients, patients, students, depository accounts, loan originations, etc.), and for all other business purposes to mitigate fraud and identity theft.

CBSV matches Name, SSN, Date of Birth, Gender, and Death Indicator of the applicant/SSN holder to official governmental source records of SSA Master File and Death Index. CBSV has been operational since 2002. For details, visit IDValidation dot net, an enrolled CBSV company.

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