Social Security Administration Stops Letters That Do Not Match – Employment and HR – Community News
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Social Security Administration Stops Letters That Do Not Match – Employment and HR

United States: Social Security Administration to End Mismatched Letters

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In 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it would resume issuing no-match letters, also known as EDCOR or Educational Correspondence letters, for the first time since 2007. Letters that do not match inform employers that an employee’s name and Social Security Number (SSN) as listed on W-2 records do not match the employee’s SSA record and their SSN. The purpose of a no-match letter is to inform employers that corrections are necessary for the SSA to correctly place employee earnings on the appropriate Social Security register. After the practice resumed in 2019, the SSA has issued approximately 803,000 no-match letters to employers. In 2020, the SSA issued approximately 791,000 no-match letters to employers.

A no-match letter requests employers to review the discrepancies through a dedicated SSA online portal, notify employees of the no-match, and submit corrected information to the SSA within 60 days to enable the SSA reconcile the employer’s payroll records and the proper crediting of the employee’s wages to his or her Social Security records.

A no-match letter does not necessarily mean that an employee does not have a work permit or has intentionally provided misleading information. As the SSA website explains, “There are a number of reasons why reported names and [Social Security Numbers] maybe disagree [the Social Security Administration’s] data, such as typographical errors, unreported name changes, and inaccurate or incomplete employer data.” However, employee fraud can also be the reason for the mismatch.

As a result, employers who receive mismatched letters may find it difficult to balance the conflicting interests of their obligation to investigate and correct the mismatch, while still avoiding actions that could be perceived as discriminatory against employees at answering the letters.

However, in a recent dramatic policy change and without a single press release, the SSA has announced that it has stopped sending unmatched letters to employers. The SSA stated:

In March 2019, we began sending reports to employers who were determined to have submitted at least one name and combination on Form W-2 that did not match our records. The purpose of the letter is to point out to employers that corrections are necessary so that we can properly record their employees’ earnings in the correct records and to educate them about the tools available at BSO.

We are currently discontinuing EDCOR letters to make it a better, easier and easier experience for employers to report wages electronically. We will also continue to look for new opportunities to train employers.

The SSA’s announcement is a welcome change for many employers as the COVID-19 restrictions end and the hiring/re-hiring process is in full swing.

The contents of this article are intended to provide general guidance on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstances.

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