TN 6 (04-10)

RM 10225.035 SSNs for the Amish and Mennonites (and Other Religious Exempt Communities)

A. Background related to enumeration of the Amish and Mennonites (and other religious exempt communities)

The Social Security Amendments of 1965 and 1967 provided an exemption from some aspects of coverage for those individuals who are members of religious sects that make provisions for their dependent members. To be eligible for the provisions of the law, an individual must file an IRS-4029 (Application for Exemption From Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits) and be jointly certified by SSA and IRS. For a discussion of religious exemption of taxes and waiver of benefits, see Method of Obtaining Exemption RS 01802.273 and General Information Form 4029.

In implementing these procedures, SSA initially processed the IRS-4029 and filed the records alphabetically. It became apparent that an SSN was needed to control these records. (An SSN is not needed by members of these sects to file a tax return.) In the past, when an individual filed an IRS-4029 and did not have an SSN, an SSN was assigned and written on the IRS-4029, the card was suppressed, and a Numident record created.

B. Policy related to enumeration of the Amish and Mennonites (and other religious exempt communities)

Effective February 2, 2004, any IRS-4029 received by SSA that does not include an SSN will be returned to the individual to obtain an SSN. This must be accomplished by following the same routine enumeration policies required when requesting an SSN card, such as the filing of the application along with the appropriate proofs, including proof of age, identity, and citizenship or alien status. The individual should be advised to contact a field office to apply for an SSN for IRS-4029 control purposes.

See Details:

For examples of the types of documents that would be acceptable for establishing identity, see RM 10225.040.

C. Processing Amish and Mennonite (and other religious exempt communities) cases

Some applicants may file for SSNs with no reference to the IRS-4029 process or without expressing serious religious objections. Other applicants may express religious concerns and want to state officially that the only reason they are applying for the number is to control the IRS-4029 and that they do not want a Social Security card mailed to them. (In some religious communities these are called control numbers, not SSNs, and individuals who have these numbers may insist that they do not have SSNs for other purposes, such as obtaining identification with the MVA.).

Follow these procedures only when the individual expresses a religious objection to being issued an SSN and card. For those who express concern and indicate they only want to file for an SSN for IRS-4029 control purposes, use the following instructions.

In addition to full SSN application processing and proof requirements:

  1. Accept a statement that the person is filing only for IRS-4029 purposes and that he or she does not want a Social Security card issued.

  2. Annotate the Remarks block of the Summary screen in SSNAP, “4029” to explain why we are suppressing an original card.

  3. Suppress the issuance of the card.

If an applicant requests that we suppress the issuance of the Social Security card, the applicant must recontact us by mail, fax, or in person to obtain the SSN or to provide written consent for us to disclose the SSN to a third party.

See Details:

  • For the procedures for establishing identity, see GN 03340.015B.

  • For the required consent criteria for disclosing SSA records information, see GN 03305.001B.2.

D. Example of a request for an SSN for IRS-4029 control purposes

The following is an example of language that those with religious objections to obtaining an SSN may provide. We accept this statement out of concern for religious sensibilities and do not require using the steps in RM 10225.035C. to assign a number for controlling the IRS-4029.

Date: February 2, 2010

I am requesting the assignment of a Social Security number (SSN) to be used only for filing Form IRS-4029 for benefit waiver and taxation purposes. I do not want a Social Security card created or mailed to me.

When the SSN is assigned to me, I will recontact the Social Security Field Office by mail, fax, or in person to obtain the SSN or to provide written consent for SSA to disclose the SSN to a third pa