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 DHS later rescinded the proposed regulation.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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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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