I-9 Immigration Compliance Update: Social Security “No-Match” Letters and New USCIS “I-9 Central” Website

1. Best Practices for Employers in Responding to Social Security No-Match Letters

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has resumed issuing letters notifying employers of mismatches between an employee’s name and Social Security number (“SSN”), known as “No-Match” letters. A No-Match letter informs the employer that discrepancies exist between an employee’s name and Social Security number contained in SSA’s database against those on the employee’s W-2 form. The purpose is to enable the SSA to allocate Social Security funds correctly. Employers who receive No-Match letters should have a policy of checking records and following up with employees so they can avoid charges of hiring unauthorized workers.

SSA had stopped sending No-Match letters in 2007 and 2008 (tax years 2006 and 2007) in response to litigation surrounding a proposed Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) regulation, “Safe Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter.” DHS later rescinded the proposed regulation. SSA recently decided to resume sending No-Match letters in April 2011 for tax year 2010.

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