Identification Number:
GN 03325 TN 7
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:Office of the General Counsel
Title:Disclosure and Verification of Social Security Numbers (SSN)
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 033 – Disclosure/Confidentiality of Information
Subchapter 25 – Disclosure and Verification of Social Security Numbers (SSN)
Transmittal No. 7, 10/13/2020

Audience

PSC: CA, CS, DE, DEC, DS, ICDS, IES, ISRA, PETE, RECONR, SCPS, TSA, TST;
OCO-OEIO: BIES, BTE, CR, CTE, EIE, FCR, FDE, LC, PETL, RECONE, RECONR, RECOVR;
OCO-ODO: BET, BTE, CCE, CR, CST, CTE, CTE TE, DE, DEC, DES, DS, DSE, PAS, PETE, PETL, RCOVTA, RECONE, RECOVR;
OEO: DOSPA, OSSPA, WBDOCPA;
ODD-DDS: DHU;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, FR, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OPD

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.

Summary of Changes

GN 03325.025 Requests for Numident Records

In subsection E, we revised bullets 1 and 2 to clarify instructions regarding SSN verifications during emergency situations or in cases of hardship.

GN 03325.025 Requests for Numident Records

A. Policy for requesting the Numident record

Under the Privacy Act, an individual has the right to access any information in our records about him or her, including a copy of Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card) and the Numident record. A Numident record is a computer extract of Form SS-5 and subsequent applications for replacement Social Security number (SSN) cards.

A Numident record includes the following data elements:

  • SSN

  • Name

  • Full name at birth

  • Other names used

  • Date of birth (DOB)

  • Prior DOB

  • Place of birth

  • Citizenship

  • Race/Ethnicity

  • Sex

  • Mother's name at her birth

  • Father's name

  • Date record was established or corrected

  • Control number

  • Date of death

NOTE: The only official document verifying an individual's SSN is the SSN card.

There are two versions of the Numident record:

1. Internal query

This version is for internal, administrative use only and should not be routinely disclosed. It contains additional data elements maintained on an individual's enumeration record, e.g., special indicator codes and FICA waiver information. See GN 03305.004 for further information regarding disclosing queries. The Office of Privacy and Disclosure (OPD) will consider Numident record requests for the internal query or requests for additional data elements not listed above on a case-by-case basis. Forward these requests to OPD for processing via the Privacy Act Coordinator.

2. External/Public Query

This version satisfies both first and third-party requests for Numident records. It only contains the data elements listed above, as this is the minimal amount of information needed to satisfy a requester's need for a Numident record.

B. Processing requests for Numident records

Central Office (CO) processes routine requests for Numident records, from both first and third parties, including requests that pertain to deceased individuals. Send the request together with the fee, if applicable, to:

SSA, OEIO FOIA Workgroup
6100 Wabash Avenue
P.O. Box 33022
Baltimore, MD 21290-3022

1. First party requests for Numident records

First party requesters for Numident records must meet the access requirements in

2. Third party requests for Numident records

Third party requesters must submit a valid consent document with Numident record requests in accordance with the consent and query procedures in

We provide information about who may consent in GN 03305.005. If the consent document does not meet our requirements, return it to the requester with a written explanation of why we cannot honor the request. We can accept a new consent document from the same requester once the consent document satisfies all of our requirements. Once it satisfies all requirements, send the request, together with the fee, to the OEIO FOIA Workgroup at the address listed above.

A third party may ask an individual to obtain a Numident to verify his or her SSN. The third party may also seek valuable personal information contained in the Numident record. While the number holder (NH) is entitled to his or her own Numident record, he or she may be unwittingly disclosing more information than is necessary to verify his or her SSN. Disclosing Numident information unnecessarily to third parties greatly increases the NH's vulnerability to identity theft and SSN fraud. In addition, persons can easily duplicate or alter Numident records. FO employees should advise the NH that the Numident record may contain sensitive information. By providing the full extract (Internal Query available on Person Information) to the third party, NHs may be inadvertently releasing more information than required to satisfy a third party request.

3. Fees for processing requests for Numident records

All requesters must pay the fees we charge for processing requests for Numident records. This includes both first and third party requesters. Do not send a request for Numident records to CO without the correct fee amount. If a request does not include the fee or the fee amount is incorrect, return the request to the requester with a written explanation of why we cannot process it. Once we receive the correct fee amount and the request meets all other requirements, we can process the request. More information about the fees we charge is on our website at www.ssa.gov/foia/request.html.

C. Numident record status requests

We process requests for Numident records on a first come basis. It can take 30 days or longer to process a request. After waiting the initial 30-day period, a requester may contact us for the status of his or her request. To process a request for status, after the initial 30-day waiting period, use the following steps:

  1. 1. 

    Obtain enough information to locate the request and the name and telephone number of the requester. Advise the requester that someone will contact him or her to provide the status within five business days.

  2. 2. 

    Contact the FOIA Workgroup at (410) 966-4034 and request they contact the requester directly to provide the status. If necessary, leave a message and provide all pertinent information related to the request.

D. Field Office (FO) instructions for SSN printout requests

Effective August 1, 2014, we discontinued providing manual SSN printouts and verifications to claimants and third parties. Manual verification requests in emergency situations are processed via the FO point of contact using Person Information.

1. For individuals requesting an SSN Printout:

Inform the NH we no longer provide SSN printouts and advise him or her to apply for a replacement card.

NOTE: Individuals living in an area where SSA invoked disaster procedures are still eligible to receive an SSN Printout. For more information regarding requests for SSN Printouts, see RM 10225.005.

2. For agencies requesting an SSN Printout

For SSN verification requests from agencies administering emergency services in disaster situations and in cases of hardship where an existing data exchange does not exist or meet the need, FOs should follow the process described in this section.

3. For law enforcement agencies requesting an SSN Printout

Although we no longer provide SSN Printouts, you should still follow current policy to address requests from law enforcement in GN 03312.000. If the request meets the requirements for disclosure, you may still verify the SSN (without using the SSN Printout).

E. Instructions for first party SSN verifications in emergency situations

For SSN verifications during emergency situations or in cases of hardship, follow the process in this section:

  • If an individual contacts the FO to obtain verification of his or her SSN, assist the individual in applying for a replacement SSN card with the appropriate required evidence. For more information on these requirements, see RM 10210.015. Upon request, you may provide verbal verification of the SSN to the replacement card applicant.

  • If a third party (a local or State agency) sent the individual to the FO to obtain verification of his or her SSN, obtain written consent from the individual (Form-SSA-3288).

    Inform the individual that we will contact the requesting third party to provide verbal verification of his or her SSN.

  • Refer the individual’s name, SSN, signed SSA-3288, and third party contact information to your regional Privacy Act Coordinator (PAC).

NOTE: Individuals living in an area where SSA invoked disaster procedures are still eligible to receive an SSN printout. For more information on these procedures, see GN 00401.001.

FOs may also contact their regional PAC for further assistance with verbal third party SSN verifications. This includes cases of hardship where an existing data exchange does not exist or meet the need.

F. Instructions for third party SSN verifications in emergency situations

When the FO receives a request from a third party, employees should:

  • review the SSA-3288 to ensure that all required fields are complete and include the necessary third party information;

  • retain a copy of the signed SSA-3288 to ensure a record of the individual’s consent;

  • contact the designated third party (within the same business day if possible);

  • confirm that individual you are speaking to is the designated third party and authorized to receive the SSN verbal verification (e.g., name of organization, EIN, or other requirements. For more information on identity requirements, see GN 03380.010.

  • ask the third party to provide a sufficient explanation (at management’s discretion) of the emergency or hardship need;

  • explain that we can only inform him or her if the information provided agrees with our records (we will not disclose the SSN to the third party); and

  • provide a verbal “yes” or “no” response for verification of the SSN.

G. Instructions for SSN verifications in non-emergency situations

When we receive a request to verify an SSN in a non-emergency situation, employees should:

  • review the SSA-3288 or submitted consent to ensure that all required fields are complete and include the necessary third party information (Box 1, “Verification of Social Security Number” should be checked);

  • verify the identifying information on the form against our records;

  • stamp the FO address on the original and annotate “Information provided matches our records” or “Information provided did not match our records;” and

  • retain a copy of the signed SSA-3288 or valid consent, with the annotated response, to ensure record of the individual’s consent and the agency’s response.

NOTE: You do not need to annotate the SSA-3288 or valid consent if we provide another record in our response that displays the SSN.


GN 03325 TN 7 - Disclosure and Verification of Social Security Numbers (SSN) - 10/13/2020