Social Security Mismatch and Immigration

The Saqui Law Group, a division of Dowling Aaron recently put together information regarding employers and Social Security ‘no matches.” According to the group, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is sending “Employer Correction Request” letters, also known as “no-match letters,” to every employer that has at least one Social Security “no-match.” The letters are likely meant to intimidate employers, but explicitly state that they do not have anything to do with any employee’s work authorization or immigration status.

The SSA wants an employer to take the following actions in response to receiving a no-match letter:

  • Review the names and SSN information submitted by the employer to SSA;
  • Provide any necessary corrections to SSA on the Form W2-C within 60 days of receiving the no-match, or;
  • Respond to SSA that the employer has confirmed that the names and SSN information provided match the information provided by its employees

The Saqui Law Group recommends the following actions for an employer in response to receiving a no-match letter:

Since the new no match letters only provide the total number of “no matches” without the employee name, it is up to the employer whether to login to the SSN portal online (Business Services Online (“BSO”)) to get the actual employee names at issue.

At this time, we are recommending that employers take no further action after receiving a no match letter beyond the three steps described above. If an employer elects to create a BSO account and use the Social Security Number Verification Service, the employer will be given the names of the affected employees.

The letters do not provide the names and numbers of the employees that allegedly do not match as the SSA should be prohibited from disclosing numbers. That information only comes from the employer voluntarily utilizing the website cited to conduct a match process him or herself. That is electronic verification and technically is not required by law or the no match letter. The catch is that once employers do access the website, which the government is intending them to believe they have to by using this tool, and start comparing, they are now with direct knowledge of the specific employee and number with an issue and at that point become exposed for potential unlawful employment. The only responsibility under the SSA for the employer is to ensure that the records provided to the IRS/SSA match the records provided by the employee so that accurate deposits are made to the individual SSA accounts. Nothing more.

Unlike the SSA no-match letters from a decade ago, these new letters do not carry a requirement to retain them in your personnel records. Retaining the letter creates an unnecessary risk in the event of a future ICE document audit. As such, we recommend that you not retain the no-match letter once you have taken the steps described above.

To view the full six page advisory document go to the following link:

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