TN 9 (08-23)

RM 00207.020 Assigning an SSN without Full Identifying Information

A. Introduction

In some instances an applicant may be unable to give complete identifying information. Even so, FO's may still be able to process an SS-5 to issue an SSN.


  • An incompetent adult in an institution, or

  • An abandoned child in a welfare agency's care.


These instructions apply to SSN's in title II and title XVI cases. See RM 00207.035 and RM 00207.050 for instructions concerning auxiliary beneficiaries and SSI applicants, respectively.

B. Policy

If the FO does not have a completed SS-5 signed by the worker, their representative or the claimant (if the worker is deceased), plus all necessary supporting evidence, no SSN may be assigned. Alternate means of disposing of such claims can be found in GN 01010.420B.

C. Procedure

1. General

Obtain an SS-5 (as complete as possible) signed by the proper applicant. See RM 10205.025 for proper applicant, RM 00407.002 and RM 10201.001 for instructions on completing the SS-5.

2. Completing the SS-5

1 Enter the applicant's name in item 1.
2 If the date of birth is unknown, enter at least a year of birth (e.g., 00 /00/15), even if it is an educated guess.
3 Show at least a country of birth. (“U.S.A.” is acceptable if the applicant's State of birth is unknown and there is no reason to believe they are foreign-born.)
4 Show “unknown” in the “last name” block if parent's names are unavailable.
5 Use the notify indicator (NTI) to process claims related to SS-5's. See RM 00407.004B.18.

3. Supporting Evidence

Explore institution records, legal guardianship papers, records of the person or agency that admitted the applicant to the institution and leads to relatives or friends who may have information. See RM 00207.045A for required evidence.

4. Mandatory In-person Interview

Conduct the interview with the person filing the claim if the applicant is not competent and is age 18 or over.

5. FO Action Upon Notification of SSN

Notifications of assigned SSN's will be in computer-generated format and indicate whether the number is a prior or newly assigned SSN. When you receive notification of the SSN, follow procedures in SM 01005.001 to request the earnings record.

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RM 00207.020 - Assigning an SSN without Full Identifying Information - 01/19/2012
Batch run: 08/24/2023