The Social Security Administration (SSA) resumed sending Employer Correction Request Notices, more commonly referred to as “No-Match Letters”, to employers in the Spring of 2019, following a seven-year period with no issuance of no-match letters. The SSA issues letters to businesses that have submitted a wage report containing a reported name, Social Security Number (SSN) or a combination thereof for an employee which do not match SSA’s records. From an employee misentering their SSN on Form I-9 or unreported name changes, to typographical errors or inaccurate employer records, there are a number of reasons a no-match letter may be issued. Upon receiving a no-match letter, the employer should verify information with their employee before automatically assuming they are unauthorized to work in the U.S. In fact, no-match letters specifically state employers should not take adverse action against an employee based on the letter alone. No-match letters require the employer to provide updated information to SSA within 60 days of receipt of the letter. Employers should not simply ignore a no-match letter. Failure to respond may be hard to defend in an audit, especially if the workers identified by SSA turn out to be unauthorized workers.
Follow these guidelines if you receive a SSA no-match letter:
I-9 self-audits remain an excellent way for employers to minimize the receipt of no-match letters and ensure they are complying with their I-9 obligations in the event of an ICE audit.