A Social Security Association (SSA) no-match letter is a written notice issued by the SSA to an employer advising that the name or Social Security Number (SSN) of an employee does not match a name or SSN combination reflected in SSA's records. Such a no-match does not mean an employee is not authorized to work, as there are many reasons for the issuance of such a letter. For instance, a no-match can be caused by: an unreported name change due to marriage, divorce or naturalization; input errors by SSA staff; reporting errors by an employer or employee; identity theft; errors in reporting hyphenated or multiple surnames; or fraud.

The DOJ has issued several informative bulletins on mismatched name and social security numbers. These bulletins give information to employees on how to respond to a no-match:

  • Employees should always double-check their name and SSN because the no-matches can often result from administrative errors.
  • If there is a no-match or other error in a Social Security card, an SSA representative can review it with the employee.

The bulletins also give employees advice on how to deal with employers in a no-match situation:

  • Employees should request notice from their employer of any reported no-match, an opportunity to review and correct the errors in the employer's records, continue employment while resolving the errors, and a period of time to resolve the no-match with the SSA.
  • Employees should also call OSC's hotline if an employer attempts to immediately reverify an employee's employment eligibility through a new I-9 solely because of a no-match notice, if the employer terminates or attempts to take other adverse action against the employee based on a no-match notice, or if the employer fails to provide a reasonable period of time for the employee to resolve the no-match issue or follows different procedures for different classes of employees based on national origin.

The bulletins also provide information for employers as follows:

  • Employers should check a reported no-match against their personnel records, should inform the employee of the no-match notice, should advise the employee to contact SSA to correct its records and give the employee a reasonable period of time to do so, and should follow the same procedures for all employees regardless of citizenship status.
  • Employers should not assume a reported no-match conveys information on an employee's immigration status, should not use a no-match notice to terminate or take adverse action against an employee, should not require the employee to provide specific documents to address the no-match, and should not reverify the employee's employment eligibility through a new I-9.