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How to Handle Failed Employee Name/Social Security Number Verifications

Author: Alice Gilman

An employer should periodically verify that an employee's name and Social Security Number (SSN) matches by using the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS). SSNVS provides results to inquiring employers in real time. An employer that receives any failed verifications from the SSA should resolve those discrepancies expeditiously, preferably before filing that year's Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. In addition, an employer should resolve mismatches before taking any adverse employment action against an employee due to the failure, such as suspension or termination. An employer that relies solely on the verification information provided by the SSA to justify an adverse action against an employee may be violating state or federal antidiscrimination laws.