Social Security Verification: How To Verify Employee Names and Social Security Numbers
As an employer you need to make sure that you have the correct social security number for each of your employees. If you don’t or forgot to do this upon hiring, you should definitely do this prior to filing any W-2s. Too often employers catch this mistake after their W-2s are filed. This causes a ton of headaches and extra work for both the employer and the employee.
The name and SSN listed on each W-2 must match the name and SSN on the employee’s Social Security card. This match ensures the earnings of each employee are properly recorded to their lifetime earnings record. The earnings record is the basis for determining Social Security benefit eligibility and benefit amount. Social security verification is fairly easy. SSA’s free Employee and Social Security Verification Services can help you easily identify inaccurate employee name and SSN combinations so they can be corrected before you submit your W-2s to Social Security Administration (SSA).
Free Social Security Number Verification
The Social Security Administration says that if you have under 50 employees that need social security verification that you can contact your nearest Social Security office. You can locate the address by visiting the Social Security Online website, or by calling 800-772-1213. Frankly, I can’t imagine that you will get anyone that can really help you so even if you’re a really small business I would try the online method for over 50 employees. That method for social security verification is described below.
If you need to perform social security verification on more than 50 names then you need to use the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS). The Social Security Number Verification Service allows you to either complete an online form or submit specifically formatted files to request verification of names and Social Security Numbers of employees who work for your business. This option is ideal for employers who want to verify their entire payroll database. You must first register for this service.
You’ll need Internet access to use the SSNVS system. Once you have access you’ll either need to enter employee information or upload a file with your all of your employee’s information in it.
The SSN Verification web page contains the following data entry fields:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) – The EIN of the employer under which wages are to be reported for the names and SSNs being verified.
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- First Name
- Middle Name
- Last Name
- Date of Birth
Like I said, even if you have just a few employees I would try registering for an account on the SSNVS system. This way you always have it and anytime you hire someone you can easily perform their social security verification.
For more details on social security verification visit SSA’s website, Employer W-2 Filing Business Services Online Information and Instructions and Information Social Security Number Verification page.