What to do if an SSN fails to verify

Follow these steps for each SSN that failed verification:

  1. Compare the failed SSN with your employment records. If you made a typographical error, correct the error and resubmit the corrected data. If the name is hyphenated, consider trying different versions of the name.
  2. If your employment records match your submission, ask your employee to check his/her Social Security card and inform you of any name or SSN difference between your records and his/her card. If your employment records are incorrect, correct your records and resubmit the corrected data.
  3. If your employment record and the employee's Social Security card match, ask the employee to check with any local Social Security Adminisration (SSA) Office to resolve the issue. Once the employee has contacted the SSA Office, he/she should inform you of any changes. You should correct your records accordingly and resubmit the corrected data.
  4. If the employee is unable to provide a valid SSN, you are encouraged to document your efforts to obtain the correct information. (Documentation should be retained with payroll records for a period of three (3) years.)
  5. If you are unable to contact the employee, you are encouraged to document your efforts.
  6. If you have already sent a Form W-2 with an incorrect name and/or SSN, then submit a Form W-2c (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement) to correct the mismatch. W-2c services are available through BSO Wage Reporting. There is no need to re-register for your Business Services Online (BSO) User Identification Number (User ID).


  • A mismatch is not a basis, in and of itself, for you to take any adverse action against an employee, such as laying off, suspending, firing or discriminating.
  • Company policy should be applied consistently to all workers.
  • Any employer that uses the failure of the information to match SSA records to take inappropriate adverse action against a worker may violate State or Federal law.
  • The information you receive from SSNVS does not make any statement regarding a worker's immigration status.