Beware of Social Security Mis-Match Letters

June 20, 2002

Employers are, because of a recent change in government policy, more likely to receive “mis-match letters” from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). These letters are sent to employers who submit employee lists with W-2 names or social security numbers that do match SSA’s records. While the letters are designed to ensure employees’ earnings are properly credited to their accounts, they are having an unintended, negative effect on employers by creating a great deal of confusion concerning an employer’s obligation to verify an employee’s employment eligibility under federal immigration laws. We will, in our next newsletter, explain the SSA’s new policy and outline an employer’s obligations upon receiving a mis-match letter. Our forthcoming article will also provide a recommended response strategy. Until then, if you are on the receiving end of such a letter, proceed cautiously and consult your attorney before taking any action.

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