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The Social Security Administration (SSA) will soon be changing the way that it assigns Social Security Numbers (SSN). Under the current system, numbers are assigned based on a pattern that reflects both the state and birth year of the recipient. Because of these patterns, technology exists to validate social security numbers during the background screening process.

As of June 25, 2011, the Social Security Administration will discontinue this patterned assignment of numbers and switch to a randomized method. This new method serves two purposes for the SSA. First, the new numbers will better protect identities. Additionally, the number of SSNs that will be available for assignment increases with this new process, ensuring that the SSA will not run out of numbers as soon as they may have under the previous system.

The background screening process will experience some limited affects as a result of this change. For any SSN issued prior to June 25, 2011, the same validation processes will be used and results will be delivered to you in the way that you have come to expect from Corporate Screening. However, any SSN issued after June 25 cannot be validated with this same method. The most likely cases to be affected will be for those seeking employment who are new to the country. These job seekers will receive randomly generated numbers after June 25, and these cannot be verified using the current process.

Corporate Screening suggests several alternatives for validating these randomly assigned numbers and remains committed to providing customized screening programs to meet your hiring needs. In many cases, this new system may never or only occasionally impact your current screening program. However, if your workforce regularly consists of applicants who are new to the country you may have a greater need to verify these newly formulated SSNs. The following options are currently available:

Form I-9 – Corporate Screening offers a paperless I-9 form that also integrates with the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system. This process will allow you to verify a randomly assigned SSN while also maintaining compliance with the IRCA.
Consent-Based SSN Verification Service – a fee based service of the SSA which requires written consent of the SSN holder and restricts the use of the results.
Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) – can be used to validate a randomly generated number, however this service is only available for wage reporting of current or former employees.
Applicant Confirmation – you can request that the applicant obtain written confirmation from the Social Security Administration.

Your account representative can guide you through this new process and can recommend a solution that is right for your screening program.

Questions? Visit, contact Corporate Screening Support at 800-229-8606 and select option 3, or contact your Account Representative.