By Molly Wood, SDEA HR Consultant
After a seven-year hiatus Social Security Administration (SSA) offices are once again sending out “Employer Correction Notices” more commonly known as “No Match Letters”.
If you receive a letter, it is because at least one employee Form W-2 contains a name/number combination that does not match what the SSA has in their system. There are any number of ways that could happen, from an administrative error on the SSA, employer’s, or employee’s part, to more ominous reasons such as identity theft.
The first thing an employer should do is check their records (both W-4 and I-9 forms). If there is an error on the part of the employer, the error should be corrected with the SSA. If there is no error on the employer’s records, the employer should notify the employee of the discrepancy and ask them to resolve the issue. The SSA has a sample letter on their website for these purposes.
Employers are not required to take action if the employee does not provide corrected information, but if the employee’s employment authorization is dependent upon the non-matching SSN, it may be in the employer’s best interest to re-verify the employee’s work authorization by completing a new I-9 form with documentation that is not under question.
If the employee insists that the SSN is correct, the employer may respond to the SSA in writing requesting that they verify their records.
While employers have limited responsibility in regard to correcting the no-match error, it is, of course, essential to document all actions taken. If any adverse action to the employee (such as termination) is being considered, be sure to review all your actions and documentation with an attorney.
For more questions, please call SDEA at 858-505-0024.