SSA “no-match” Letters Return in 2021; 4 Steps to Respond

After taking a pandemic related break in 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is resuming the practice of sending “no match” letters to employers, according to experts. A “no match” letter is a written notification by the SSA to an employer that there is a discrepancy between a workers’ social security number (used on W2 form) and government records.

If your company receives a “no match” letter, read it carefully. It does not mean that the employee is not authorized to work in the United States, and the letter is not definitive proof that the employee needs to be terminated or suspended right away. Mismatches can result from a variety of reasons, including typos, name changes, or identify theft issues.

However, experts recommend that companies take action in response to a “no match” letter. The letter requests that the company takes the following action: (1) review the discrepancies through the designated SSA online portal; (2) inform the employee about the discrepancy; and (3) submit a corrected W-2C, with the corrected information, within 60 days. The letter also says that if the discrepancy is not addressed, an employer can face serious immigration compliance issues.

Here are the 4 steps we recommend for employers to take:

  1. Register on the SSA online portal to identify the workers’ with the discrepancies. Double-check employee hiring documents to verify that the payroll system is using correct information.
  2. Inform affected employees about the “no match” letter (letter template is available for Consultstu clients) in writing. Advise the employee to contact the SSA to review the situation and correct their records.
  3. Stay in contact with the employee and review documentation submitted to correct the mismatch.
  4. Submit corrected W2s, as needed. Determine if employment action is needed if the employee does nothing and takes no action.

In addition, depending on the situation, employers may choose to conduct a self-audit of its I9 forms. Here is guidance for employers conducting self-audits of I9 forms.

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