From the Hotline: Responding to Possible Social Security Number Misuse

Question: How should we respond to an allegation that a Social Security number (SSN) belonging to someone else is being used by one of our employees?

Answer: First, you may want to confirm that the accuracy of the Social Security number (SSN) being provided matches Form I-9 and other payroll data points. You may also contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office to verify that the employee’s name and birthdate match the SSN being used.

When a matter of this nature is determined by the SSA, a mismatch letter is issued to the employer advising that the employer correct their records accordingly, which often results in the employee needing to correct the matter with the SSA.

If after contacting the SSA you find the allegation to have merit, we recommend speaking with the employee to advise that there is a discrepancy with the SSN that has been provided and permit the employee to go to the SSA office to rectify the matter during the next business day. Further assistance may be accessible through your legal counsel.