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Employer Announcement #47
Invalid Social Security Numbers

Recently, PERS has had several incidents of members using invalid Social Security numbers (SSN) with their employers, which is then reported to PERS. PERS has developed a program that identifies unissued SSNs to help determine if an invalid SSN is being used.

On a monthly basis, the Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes a list of the highest SSNs that have been issued. This document is commonly called the HighGroup.txt file. Any SSN that is above the range of numbers on this HighGroup.txt file has not been released and is invalid.

The program PERS has developed compares the SSNs in EDX with this HighGroup.txt file. If an invalid SSN is identified, we contact the appropriate employer or employers and notify them that they need to obtain valid SSN from their employees.

Unfortunately, we have had incidents where an employee has what appears to be a valid Social Security card with an unreleased SSN. In these cases, the employer verified the SSN with the SSA who confirmed the number was not issued to that person.

PERS will notify you when a member’s SSN has been identified as invalid. We recommend you do the following:

  • Determine that there is not an error in the initial reporting of the name or number.
  • If your information is accurate, use one of the two free programs the United States Government offers: SSNVS and E-Verify.

SSNVS (Social Security Number Verification System) and E-Verify are free services that assist employers in reporting accurate wages and in maintaining a legal workforce. Using either of these services will ensure the name of the employee being reported matches the SSN being reported.

You can register online for SSNVS at www.socialsecurity.gov/bso/bsowelcome.htm.

or

You can register online for E-Verify at https://www.vis-dhs.com/EmployerRegistration.