After a break of three years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) started sending out ‘No Match’ letters to employers at the end of March. These letters let employers know if a Social Security Number (SSN) does not match the information that the SSA has in their database for that particular SSN.
A No Match letter should in no way trigger immediate termination or adverse actions against the employee. The discrepancy needs to be carefully researched and documented before any sort of disciplinary action might be taken.
Possible Reasons for a Mismatch
- Typo – a simple entry error was made when setting up the employee in the human resources and/or payroll system
- Omitted information – The middle name or names, or initials, were not entered into the HR/PR system
- Name Change – the employee was married or divorced or changed their legal name but never notified the SSA of the change
- Reporting Errors – Incorrect information was reported during the New Hire Reporting process and was then reported to the SSA
How to Correct Incorrect Information
Before contacting the employee, verify that the information entered in your HR/PR system is correct and that it matches the employee’s paperwork, most notably the I-9. Make corrections as needed to your HR/PR system as needed. If your review does not show any discrepancy, approach the employee and ask them to verify what information is on their Social Security card, paying special attention to not only the number, but the names and how they are spelled. Have them verify that there is or is not a middle name or initial. Has their name changed and they did not notify the SSA? Or did they forget to show/give you a copy of the new Social Security card with the new information?
If the employee confirms that what is in your HR/PR system, then advise them to contact the SSA as soon as possible. Ask them to report back to you the results of the inquiry.
So what should I as an Employer do to reduce the possibility of receiving a No Match letter?
- Make certain that names are completely entered in your HR/PR system match exactly what is on the employee’s Social Security card or I-9
- Use the SSA’s Employee Verification Service (EVS) prior to ensure accuracy (a service provided by PCS at no additional fee)
- Remind your employees to keep you informed of name changes (do at least annually)
Links to sample no match letters:
PCS Service Team
Legal Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and by no means should replace or substitute other legal documents (governmental or non-governmental) reflecting similar content or advice. If you have any questions concerning your situation or the information provided, please consult with an attorney, CPA or HR Professional.