No-Match Letters Discontinued

Jackson Lewis P.C.
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The Social Security Administration (SSA) has stated that it has discontinued mailing No-Match letters (also known as EDCOR notifications) to employers.

SSA stated that it plans to focus instead on making it easier for employers to fix errors electronically through its Business Services Online Portal.

Immigration advocates and many employers welcomed the announcement, particularly as businesses begin rehiring employees who may have been terminated over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

No-Match letters are notifications that an individual employee’s W-2 form does not match SSA’s records. Beginning in 2018, SSA restarted the practice of sending No-Match notifications to employers where employee records generated a mismatch. Receipt of a No-Match letter does not by itself mean the employee was working illegally or using a fraudulent Social Security card. Mismatches might be due to administrative errors, misspelled names, reversed numbers, or name changes (such as due to marriage). Nonetheless, employers, upon receipt of the EDCOR No-Match notification, were expected to take the appropriate actions – checking for errors in records and notifying the employee to resolve the issue with SSA. Employers were advised not to take adverse employment action against “noticed” employees solely due to a No-Match letter. Employers had to walk a narrow path – fearful that a No-Match letter puts them on notice that an employee might not have valid work authorization but, at the same time, hesitant to take any adverse action that could raise allegations of discrimination or document abuse under the law.

In announcing its decision to discontinue EDCOR letters, SSA said it will look for new ways to educate employers and update its software to inform employers instantly of errors in wage reports. SSA also will educate employees about the importance of accurate SSA records and how to take advantage of its online system to manage their personal records. If wages are not accurately reported, employees can lose out on future Social Security benefits.

SSA did not issue a formal public announcement about the end of No-Match letters; however, it was published on the SSA website under “Educational Correspondence to Employers” and stated:

“At present, we are discontinuing EDCOR letters to focus on making it a better, easier, more convenient experience for employers to report wages electronically. We also will continue to seek out new opportunities to educate employers.

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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