States Rejecting Social Security Numbers Beginning with a Specific Number

States Rejecting Social Security Numbers Beginning with a Specific Number

Social security numbers (SSNs) first came into use in 1936 for the purpose of tracking U.S. workers’ earnings in order to determine their Social Security benefit, which, at that time, was a newly-launched government program.

In the beginning, the first three numbers of SSNs were determined by the zip code from the mailing address of the SSN application. That continued to be the case until 2011 when changes needed to be made to keep pace with the number of SSNs being issued and to reduce identity theft.

Lately, SSNs have come under closer scrutiny due to heightened awareness in regard to the working status of U.S. employees. States are becoming more diligent in regard to SSNs submitted to the state when paying unemployment tax. More specifically, Florida and New Jersey have begun rejecting employee data for state unemployment if the SSN begins with a specific number.

Currently, the United States does not issue Social Security numbers with the following:

  • SSNs beginning with the number “9”
  • SSNs beginning with the number “666” in positions 1 – 3
  • SSNs beginning with the number “000” in positions 1 – 3
  • SSNs with the number “00” in positions 4 – 5
  • SSNs with the number “0000” in positions 6 – 9

The State of Florida is rejecting any employee data for state unemployment where the employee’s SSN begins with a “9” or “000”. In addition, they are charging fines for submitting these numbers. New Jersey is also rejecting data with Social Security numbers beginning with “9”, causing a mismatch between their wage report and their summary unemployment report.  

To this end, TRICOM will be “scrubbing” active (2019 wages) employees for all of our payroll processing clients and contacting the company about any employees that currently have a starting digit of “9”.  Many of these may simply be a data entry error and our payroll team will make all appropriate changes.  

Once this process is in place and all existing employees are corrected, TRICOM will no longer accept any new employees that have Social Security number beginning with “9”.

The same process will be in place for Independent Contractors (even though we don’t report unemployment). The IRS will reject the 1099 report in a similar fashion as the state unemployment agencies.

TRICOM’s goal has always been to ensure that our clients have accurate and timely payroll information and reporting. TRICOM is looking out for our clients in an effort to avoid penalties as it relates to this situation. If you have any questions, please contact TRICOM President / CEO Julie Ann Bittner.       

Sources:
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v69n2/v69n2p55.html
https://www.ssa.gov/kc/SSAFactSheet--IssuingSSNs.pdf

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