Social Security "No Match" letters return: What's new and what's the same
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has once again started issuing what is often referred to as “No Match” letters to employers. The letters, which haven’t been used since 2012, are again being used to notify employers that the SSA was not able to match up with its records the names and Social Security numbers submitted by the employer. While the use of the letters is the same as past practice, the process moving forward is different.
What you need to know:
- The letters, now called “Employment Correction Request Notices” by SSA, inform the employer that a certain number of employees have names and numbers that don’t match SSA records, however, the initial letter mailed to employers no longer lists the mismatched names and numbers, which was past practice.
- The letter now directs the employer to a website where the employer must register to obtain the names and numbers that require attention. Employers must register for Business Services Online through the SSA, which includes setting up a user name and password. Employers must then follow the SSA’s instructions to request and obtain an activation code before they can view the wage report and social security number errors. SSA will mail a notice with the activation code to the address the IRS has in their records for the employer in approximately 10 business days. Tutorials, frequently asked questions and step-by-step instructions are available on the SSA’s Employer Correction Request Notices webpage.
- The letters also encourage employers to follow a new process that entails going to the SSA’s website (as described above), viewing the incorrect information and providing SSA with corrected information within 60 days.
Keep in mind that the letter does not imply that the employer or employee intentionally provided incorrect information. The letter also still includes the cautionary statement to employers stating that, “Employers should not take any adverse action against an employee such as laying off, suspending, firing, or discriminating against them based solely on receipt of the letter.”
As in the past, we encourage employers not to ignore these letters from SSA. While there are many possible reasons for the mismatches, employers need to perform due diligence and determine the reasons for the error.
We have procedures that employers should follow to make sure that they are protecting the employee and the company as they work to resolve the issues. If you have any questions about the new version of the “No Match” letter or if you receive one, please contact Gene Schaeffer, Rebeca López or Christine Liu McLaughlin.