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What if an Employee Has No SSN or Provides an Incorrect One?

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Social Security Numbers (SSNs) were created in 1936 as part of The New Deal. They are used as a way for governments to identify individuals and track their financial information.

If you own a business, you should require that every employee provide you with their SSN.

What do you do if your employee has no SSN or provides an incorrect one? Read this SSN check guide to find out.

Compare the SSN With Your Records

It’s possible that a mistake has been made on your end. To avoid reporting the wrong SSN on important documents, look at your employee records. Make sure you haven’t made a typographical error in the number or name.

When using an SSN check and verification service, it’s important to double-check what you are inputting.

Note if an employee’s name needs hyphenation, and try to verify them with different spellings. Include the middle name of the employee to help identify them better.

Ask the Employee to Check the SSN

If everything looks correct on your end, ask the employee to check if they accidentally provided the wrong SSN. It’s also possible that the SSA issued them a new number and they are attempting to use an old one.

Look at how the name of the employee is spelled on the Social Security card. The spelling needs to match what you are inputting into the SSN verification service.

Get the Correct Information

If there continues to be an issue with an employee’s SSN, instruct them to go to the local Social Security Administration Office. They can provide the employee with correct information.

From there, an employee should return with what you need to make accurate changes. Resubmit this information to match the new details.

Document Your Actions

If your employee fails to provide you with the correct information, it’s possible that the employee has no SSN. Document all of the actions you take to receive the correct information.

Keep these documents with your payroll records for at least three years. You should also keep documentation of your attempts to contact the employee to get the right information, even if you received no response.

With this evidence, you will be able to prove that you followed through with your responsibilities as an employer to verify the SSN.

Talk to Homeland Security

Through the Department of Homeland Security, you can verify employee information if the employee has completed an I-9 form. This form verifies that foreign individuals are eligible for employment.

If you hire someone without an SSN that hasn’t filled out an I-9 form through Homeland Security, they will need to. Before that, follow these steps:

  • Have an employee fill out Form SS-5
  • Have an employee show you their letter from the SSA regarding an SSN application
  • Allow the employee to begin working
  • The employee will receive their SSN

Once the employee gets an SSN, verify that their name and information are correct on new hire documents.

SSN Check: Hiring the Professionals

Employee pay is hard for any business startup or seasoned business to keep up with, especially if an employee doesn’t have an SSN.

When you run into an issue during an SSN check, follow the steps in this guide to ensure compliance.

If you want to avoid problems like this, outsource payroll tasks to professional companies. Contact a payroll professional today to learn more about our services.

Christina Hageny

Christina Hageny

President - Valor Payroll Solutions

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