In 1993, the Social Security Administration started issuing no-match letters to employers. However, in 2012, the SSA stopped sending no-match letters to employers, due to various litigation concerns. Quite recently, the agency resurrected the practice, distributing around 575,000 no-match letters since March 2019.
Also called employer correction requests, no-match letters inform employers of discrepancies between an employee’s Social Security number and the information in the SSA’s database. The problem could be as innocuous as a typographical error or name change, or as grave as identity fraud.
Do not make any assumptions as to the reason for the SSN mismatch. According to the SSA, the no-match letter does not suggest that you or the employee deliberately provided the government with inaccurate information regarding the employee’s name or SSN. Further, the letter does not serve as proof that the employee is an unauthorized or undocumented worker.
- The name and SSN you have on record for the employee.
- If the record is incorrect, ask the employee to provide you with the right information.
- If the record is correct, advise the employee to contact his or her local Social Security office and inform you of any changes once the issue is resolved.
3. Give the employee a reasonable amount of time to rectify the problem. There’s no law defining what constitutes “reasonable,” so this is a gray area. Some industry experts recommend between 30 and 60 days; others advise 120 days.