TN 9 (01-10)
RM 10205.505 Enumeration at Birth Process
Enumeration at birth (EAB) is a program that allows parents to complete applications for SSNs for their newborns as part of the hospital birth registration process.
About 96% of SSNs for infants are assigned through the EAB process. All 50 States, plus the jurisdictions of New York City, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico participate in EAB.
RM 10205.505 through RM 10205.530 provide instructions regarding issues involved the with EAB process.
An infant is a child in the first year of life.
2. Lag period
The term “lag period” represents the average length of time between registration for EAB in the hospital and receipt of the SSN card. Information on lag periods by State is available on SSA’s website.
3. State vital records agency
The State vital records agency is the agency with governmental authority over records of life events, including birth certificates.
B. How EAB works
EAB allows parents to complete applications for SSNs for their newborns as part of the hospital birth registration process:
Hospitals collect the data necessary for enumeration and send it to their State vital records agencies (in some jurisdictions, through county or local vital records agencies), which then transmit the information to SSA.
All parents applying for an SSN as part of the birth registration process receive Form SSA-2853 (Message from Social Security), which serves as a receipt for the SSN application via EAB.
NOTE: EAB is voluntary for parents and hospitals.
State vital records agencies transmit EAB records to SSA for enumeration of infants born within the past 12 months.
EAB requests are electronically transmitted to SSA’s National Computer Center through electronic interfaces with the newborn’s State vital records agency. SSA uses the information from the State to enumerate the infants and issue SSN cards through an automated process.
EAB only issues original SSN cards – it does not issue replacement cards. However, if an SSN is already assigned, the EAB record will post to the Numident without issuing an SSN card.
An SSN is assigned with “FMC: 6” designation on the INTERNAL line of the Numident and BCN field containing the State birth certificate (BC) number.
EAB is a convenient service option for parents who need an SSN for their child. It saves the parent time gathering the necessary proofs, completing an SS-5 application, and visiting or mailing original documents to an SSA field office (FO) for processing.
C. Exclusion from the EAB Process
EAB is limited to SSN applications for newly born infants as part of the hospital birth registration process. State vital records agencies should not submit SSN applications when parents elect not to participate in EAB, for corrected or amended birth certificates, or for infant adoptions.