A change in how the feds keep their records means you’ll want to pay closer attention to new-hire paperwork.
SSA just announced it’ll change the way it issues Social Security Numbers (SSNs), which means those W-4s might start arriving with numbers you’ve never seen. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s fraud, it’s just more important than ever to use Social Security’s Social Security Number Verification Service.
Starting in late June 2011, to coincide with the start of the third quarter and software updates, SSA will:
- no longer issue SSNs based on geography (state and local area).
- issue SSNs with the number “8” in position 1.
- include all possible SSNs with the number “7” in position 1. Currently SSNs starting with a “7” are reserved for certain states and other specific groups.
- freeze the high group list, which means numbers above a certain level won’t be issued.
Using these ranges of numbers will allow SSA to continue issuing SSNs for approximately the next 30 years without making any changes, SSA’s Chuck Liptz told attendees of the American Payroll Association’s Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
SSA still won’t issue SSNs beginning with a “9,” “666” in positions 1-3 or SSNs with “000,” “00” or “0000” in the first, second or third positions, respectively.
Chances are you may not see any of these new numbers, though, since the majority of new cards issued each year are to newborns.
Where to find more help
- SSN allocations – go here
- High Group List and other ways to determine if SSNs are valid – go here
- Info and instructions to verify SSNs online – go here