An individual must give us his or her SSN in order to consent to the release of information
in our records to a third party. We use the SSN along with the name and date of birth
the individual provides only as a means of locating records responsive to the request.
If we locate records responsive to a request, we release the SSN only as part of the
We verify and disclose SSNs only when the law requires it, when we receive a consent-based
request from the individual to whom we assigned the SSN, or from someone who, by law,
can act on behalf of that individual. The SSN card is the only document that SSA recognizes
as an official verification of the SSN.
If an individual provides consent to verify his or her SSN by only checking the SSN
box on the SSA-3288, or by using any other consent document, follow these steps:
Review the SSA-3288 (or other consent document) to ensure that all required fields
are complete and include the necessary third party information;
Stamp the field office (FO) address on the original and annotate “Information provided
matches our records” or “Information provided did not match our records.”
Retain a copy of the signed SSA-3288 to ensure a record of the individual’s consent.
For retention and storage requirements, see GN 03305.010B; and
Return the original SSA-3288 (containing the FO address and annotated information)
to the requester.
NOTE: If the consent document also requests other information, you do not need to annotate
the SSA-3288 or other valid consent document if we provide another record in our response
that displays the SSN.
When appropriate, direct third party requesters to our online SSN verification services,
Consent-Based SSN Verification (CBSV) for enrolled private companies and government agencies for a fee;
Department of Homeland Security E-Verify Service (e-Verify) for employers to obtain verification of work authorization; and
Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) for employers.
If these services are not suitable, advise the third party that the number holder
must make his or her own request to the servicing FO.
For information about: