Thousands more “no-match” letters are expected to be issued throughout the remainder of 2019 as the U.S. Social Security Administration launches the next phase of an initiative to combat discrepancies between social security numbers and government records.
Businesses across the U.S. already have received more than 577,000 notices so far this year, according to Social Security Administration data cited in a report from the Society for Human Resource Management.
Letters are being sent in instances when W-2 records an employer submits do not match records and social security numbers the administration has on file. The forms also are labeled as an employer correction notice.
A simple issue such as a typo could trigger an employer receiving a letter about an employee. However, something more serious such as a stolen identity, also could signal a discrepancy. A person getting married, divorced or changing his or her name but failing to notify the Social Security Administration also could result in a records mismatch.
Whatever the reason, employers are reminded to carefully check an employee’s information to ensure it is accurate.
Employment law experts say receiving a no-match letter shouldn’t be taken lightly or ignored because of potential ramifications from non-compliance.
Employers that receive a notice from the Social Security Administration should check their records for any clerical errors. Employers also must notify the affected employee or employees of a social security number mismatch and provide 30 to 90 days for them to resolve the matter with the Social Security Administration.
That organization prevents employers from taking any adverse action against an employee solely on he or she receiving a no-match letter or before they have been given time to resolve the issue. Employers also are encouraged to work with employees to help them rectify the situation.
This is the first time in seven years the Social Security Administration has sent employers no-match letters.
Employers also could incorporate a third-party service provider to help mitigate a situation like this.
In a professional employer organization (PEO) relationship, for example, a company falls under the federal employer identification number of the PEO provider. In this case, a PEO such as Syndeo, would receive the letter on behalf of the employer.
Syndeo also can run a report to determine which employees are affected by the social security mismatch.
Using E-Verify and I-9 employment eligibility verification are other ways to cross check employment information.
Syndeo manages E-Verify programs and I-9 processes for its clients as part of our full-service HR offerings.
The Social Security Administration, meanwhile, began sending out no-match letters in 1993 but later rescinded enforcement amid litigation of the regulation. The administration stopped notifying employers in 2012 about social security numbers not matching up.
However, increased enforcement of immigration laws triggered a re-installment of letters being sent to employers.
More information about Syndeo’s human resources services is available online.
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