Basic (02-15)

RM 01002.003 How SSA Processes SS-4 Applications

A. Assigning the industry code

Employers or other taxpaying entities complete a paper or electronic Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form SS-4 (Application for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)). The IRS reviews the application and assigns an EIN to each new business owner.

The U.S. Census Bureau developed the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to identify businesses and assign a six-digit industry code.

The Office of Systems uploads the SS-4 applications for the week to SSA’s mainframe. The Center for Automation, Security, and Integrity (CASI) runs an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Autocoder program to assign the appropriate NAICS industry code. The remaining unassigned applications are placed in an application database for the Division of Earnings and Business Services (DEBS) to manually assign the appropriate industry code.

B. How to manually assign an industry code

The U.S. Census Bureau maintains an electronic industry code dictionary known as the Classification Analytical Processing System (CAPS). The DEBS technician accesses CAPS to manually code the Form SS-4. To use this application you must create a password with 12 characters, a combination of alpha and numeric and a special character (for example, Changes $2012). You must change the password every 90 days. In addition, Census prepares and updates quarterly, NAICS coding assistance for SS-4 coders at SSA (Desk Aid).

Earnings specialists (ES) take the following actions:

  1. 1. 

    Access the SS-4 NAICS application. An electronic SS-4 generates to the screen.

  2. 2. 

    Find the specific business activity and corresponding industry code using CAPS, the NAICS manual, and Desk Aid.

  3. 3. 

    Enter the six-digit industry code on the electronic SS-4 then select Save.

  4. 4. 

    Repeat these actions when the next SS-4 appears for coding.

C. EXHIBIT: NAICS data entry

NAICS - Data Entry

D. Technical questions

1. Earnings Specialist (ES) submits question

If you cannot determine the six-digit, industry code, using CAPS or the NAICS manual, then:

  • Select the Tech button.

  • Annotate Remarks.

  • Select Send for submission to the NAICS tech question queue.

2. Earnings Operations Expert (EOE) review and respond to question

You must investigate the technical question in the tech question queue submitted by the ES.

If you can provide a response, select the RETURN TO EMPLOYEE button.

If you cannot determine the correct code, then:

  • Click the SEND TO DTPS link. Microsoft Outlook will generate email.

  • Select a Management Support Specialist (MSS) to send tech question. The Division of Training and Program Support (DTPS) response queue receives the Form SS-4 to be resolved.

3. Receive answer to your question

  • MSS reviews the technical question and if needed forwards to the DTPS. DTPS must contact the U.S. Census Bureau and forward the response to technical question to MSS.

  • MSS forwards the response from DTPS to EOE.

  • EOE enters the NAICS response queue and returns technical question to the ES who initiated the referral.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
RM 01002.003 - How SSA Processes SS-4 Applications - 03/08/2018
Batch run: 03/08/2018