Rule on "No-Match" Letters Finalized; Effective 9/14/2007

July, 2007

On August 10, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule for employers who receive "No-Match" letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA).  "No-Match" letters are sent to employers when the SSA discovers the Social Security number does not match the number provided by the employer.  There are many reasons why this happens.  It could be attributed to an error in transcription, or it could be something more.  The new rule is intended provide employers with specific steps to take when it receives this letter. 

Under the final rule, upon receipt of the letter, employers will have 30 days to verify the mismatch was not a recordkeeping error on the employer’s part.   If that was the cause of the mismatch, employers must correct the mistake and notify the SSA immediately with correct information.

If the mismatch was not a result of a recordkeeping error, the employer must then ask the employee to confirm the accuracy of the employment record.  The employee must confirm the accuracy of the record within 90 days of the employer’s receipt of the no-match letter.

If the discrepancies cannot be resolved after 90 days, the employer has three days to complete a new I-9 form for the employee. The new form cannot list a non-matching Social Security number.  The employee must either submit new documentation (other than a SSN) that satisfies the I-9’s identity requirements or both identity and employment authorization.  The new I-9 must then be attached to the original.  If the employer cannot confirm the employee's identity and authorization to work in the United States, it will be liable for civil and criminal violations for continuing to employ the worker.

The new rule makes it clear that employers cannot afford to ignore "No-Match" letters and provides clear steps to take upon receipt of such letters.


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