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Social Security No-Match Letters Halted

After a long hiatus due to legal wrangling over proposed federal regulations that were subsequently withdrawn, the Social Security Administration (SSA) in April 2011 resumed its practice of sending out "no-match" letters for tax year 2010. A no-match letter advises an employer that the employer reported to SSA an employee name and social security number that do not match SSA's records.

On Oct. 27, however, SSA advised employers that due to budgetary constraints, it had suspended mailing no-match letters. SSA has not indicated whether or when, it will resume sending no-match letters. Click here for SSA Letter

If you have received a no-match letter, SSA will not take any follow-up action. Follow the letter's instructions and respond to SSA as may be appropriate. If a discrepancy exists as to an employee's name or SSN, an employer should first check its own records. If that does not reveal the source of the problem and point to a resolution of it, the employee should be directed to correct the problem with SSA.

What it Means for Employers

SSA's faltering approach to no-match letters seems to indicate that while no-match may be an ongoing activity with SSA, the agency's primary focus seems to be accuracy of its database rather than assisting immigration authorities in rooting out illegal immigrants.

However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will likely continue to try to use unresolved SSA no-match letters as an indication of a targeted employer's laxity in verifying the legal status of its workers.

Dealing appropriately with no-match letters is still important, and FELS can help. You'll find resources to help you with no-match and related issues at