In recent times, numerous U.S. employers have obtained letters from the Social Safety Administration advising them that a number of of their staff submitted a Type W-2 with a reputation that doesn’t match their listed Social Safety Quantity. With a brand new administration in energy, the SSA just lately introduced that it’s going to now not subject these so-called “no-match letters” to employers. As a substitute, the company stated it is going to give attention to making employer corrections simpler and educating staff as to the significance of correct Social Safety data – whereas holding the door open for additional attainable motion in some unspecified time in the future down the highway. What do employers have to learn about this welcome improvement?
Nearly 1.6 Million No-Match Letters Have been Despatched Out in Current Years
In accordance with the Chicago Solar Occasions, the SSA despatched virtually 1.6 million no-match letters to U.S. employers in 2019 and 2020. Whereas the letters particularly instruct employers to not take any employment motion based mostly solely on the discrepancy between an worker’s W-2 and their Social Safety Quantity, receiving these letters prompted a lot consternation for each employers and staff. A latest 21-page Q&A launched by the SSA illustrates simply how complicated employers discovered the no-match letters to be.
Much more regarding, ICE frequently requested employers if they’ve obtained any no-match letters in latest I-9 Notices of Inspection, and required employers to show over associated paperwork. ICE even proposed a regulation to the impact that an employer’s failure to take steps to tell staff recognized by SSA in no-match letters, or to require staff to handle the difficulty, was proof of “knowingly” using undocumented noncitizens.
Why Do No-Matches Happen?
Social Safety Quantity no-matches can occur for any variety of reputable causes. Victims of identification theft frequently have new Social Safety Numbers issued, as do these within the witness safety program. Misspellings of names, both by the employer or SSA, unrecorded identify modifications, and compound final names are all widespread causes for no-matches. Because the SSA itself notes:
There are a variety of the reason why reported names and SSNs might not agree with our data, reminiscent of typographical errors, unreported identify modifications, and inaccurate or incomplete employer data.
In accordance with the Chicago Solar Occasions, regardless of the SSA’s clear instruction to not take any employment motion based mostly on no-match letters due to the myriad reputable causes for no-matches, many staff misplaced their jobs as a direct results of the letters.
The SSA Has Ceased Sending Out No-Match Letters – For Now
In April, the SSA posted on its web site an “Instructional Correspondence to Employers” containing the next language:
At current, we’re discontinuing [no-match] letters to give attention to making it a greater, simpler, extra handy expertise for employers to report wages electronically. We additionally will proceed to hunt out new alternatives to coach employers.
SSA famous that the company is “dedicated to sustaining the accuracy of earnings data used to find out profit quantities to make sure clients get the advantages they’ve earned. If we can not match the identify and Social Safety Quantity (SSN) reported on a wage and tax assertion (Type W-2) to our data, we can not credit score the earnings to a employee’s report. When earnings are lacking, the employee might not qualify for Social Safety advantages or the profit quantity could also be fallacious.” This alerts that the company is contemplating different methods to handle the difficulty of mismatches between Social Safety Numbers and staff’ identities.
That is definitely excellent news for employers, who discovered themselves navigating between responding to SSA no-match letters and avoiding inadvertently discriminating in opposition to staff. It stays to be seen whether or not ICE will proceed to ask employers to show over no-match letters and associated paperwork transferring ahead as a part of its I-9 inspections.