Many employers still recall opening a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) informing them that the name or Social Security number (SSN) reported on a recent wage report does not match a name or SSN in the SSA’s records. At times the letter listed numerous individuals with a mismatch. The question for employers was what to do and when to do it. The answers were not always clear.
For the past seven years, no mismatch letters have been issued by the SSA. Unfortunately, they are soon to again be in the mail to many employers. Last July, the SSA notified employers that it was resuming the practice effective January 2019. Stopping the issuance of those letters was one of the areas the Trump administration cited as an example of the government failing to enforce the immigration laws. Reviving the policy of issuing such letters goes hand-in-hand with the dramatically increased use of Notices of Inspection (NOIs), otherwise known as I-9 audits, that we have seen in recent months. They are both, along with renewed workplace raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), integral parts of the administration’s all-encompassing focus on illegal immigration.