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The U.S. Social Security Administration has started sending employers “no-match” letters for the first time in seven years.

Letters are being sent for instances when the organization discovers W-2 records an employer submits do not match records the administration has for an employee and his or her social security number. The forms also are called an employer correction request notice.

A problem might be as simple as a typo but could be something more serious, such as a stolen identity. A person getting married, divorced or changing their name but failing to notify the Social Security Administration also could result in a records mismatch.

Regardless of the reason, this serves as a reminder for employers to check carefully an employee’s information to ensure accuracy.

And receiving a notice shouldn’t be taken lightly or ignored, experts say.

The Social Security Administration letters do not include names and social security numbers of employees whose numbers aren’t matched as the notifications have in the past. Instead, employers have to register through the administration’s Business Services Online division to find out which employees have mismatched social security numbers in the system.

Employers who receive a notice from the Social Security Administration should check their records for any clerical error or errors. Employees also must be notified by the employer of social security number mismatch and should be given a reasonable amount of time – 30 to 90 days typically should suffice – to resolve the matter with the Social Security Administration.

The organization prevents employers from taking any adverse action against an employee solely based on receiving a no-match letter and before they have been given time to resolve the issue. Employers also are encouraged to work with employees to help them rectify the situation.

Third-party assistance

A situation like this also could incorporate a third-party service provider.

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 IRS Form I-9 are other ways to double check employment verification.

Syndeo manages E-Verify programs and I-9 processes for its clients as part of a full-service offering.

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.

About us: As the Heartland’s leading employer services company, Syndeo partners with local business owners to help them minimize risk, improve efficiency and maximize profitability allowing them the freedom to focus on growth and fulfilling their mission. Syndeo fulfills its mission by taking on all of the HR responsibilities for our clients’ workforce, including employee relations, benefits, risk management and payroll.

 

~Josh Heck, Marketing Manager, Syndeo