February 02, 2013

E-Verify vs. Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS)

E-Verify confirms the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. The Social Security Administration’s program verifies that a name matches a Social Security number (SSN). A person in the United States may have a valid SSN but not be authorized to work in the United States.

Self Check was developed to create a service that U.S. workers could use to check their own employment eligibility status separate from the E-Verify process. Self Check is the first online service offered directly to the U.S. workforce by the E-Verify Program. It can be used by anyone in the U.S. over the age of 16 to confirm his or her employment eligibility. After you enter a small amount of information, the Self Check service will check that information against various government databases to determine your work eligibility in the United States. Self Check is part of E-Verify, a Department of Homeland Security program administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in partnership with the Social Security Administration.  E-Verify is used by many employers to verify the employment eligibility of their new employees.

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that enables an employer, using information reported on an employee's Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification, to determine the eligibility of that employee to work in the United States.

Your rights and personal information for the E-Verify system are explained here. Privacy Protection is explained here. The Self Check service collects the information that you provide and passes it to either an independent service for identity assurance or to the E-Verify Program for a check of your employment eligibility. The Self Check service does not keep a record of your personal information any longer than necessary, and purges all personal information used in the identity assurance process at the end of your session. The independent identity assurance service stores your personal information for one year as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Read E-Verify Connection, Issue 11 here.

Employers, organizations or third-party submitters can verify Social Security numbers for wage reporting purposes only. Social Security offers three options to verify Social Security numbers:
  1. The Social Security Number Verification Service - This free online service allows registered users to verify that the names and Social Security numbers of hired employees match Social Security’s records.
  2. The Consent Based Social Security Number Verification Service - This fee-based Social Security number verification service is available to enrolled private companies and federal, state and local government agencies to provide instant automated verification and can handle large volume requests
  3. Examine the prospective employee's SSN card.
See SSNVA handbook. Do not use SSNVS before hiring an employee. While the service is available to all employers and third-party submitters, it can only be used to verify current or former employees and only for wage reporting (Form W-2) purposes. Social Security will review usage of SSNVS to ensure that employers are using it for the proper purposes. Do not use SSNVS to take punitive action against an employee whose name and Social Security number do not match Social Security's records. A mismatch does not imply that the employer or the employee intentionally provided incorrect information. A mismatch does not make any statement about an employee's immigration status and is not a basis, in and of itself, for taking any adverse action against an employee. Doing so could subject you to anti-discrimination or labor law sanctions.

Third party use of SSNVS is strictly limited to organizations that contract with employers to either handle the wage reporting responsibilities or perform an administrative function directly related to annual wage reporting responsibilities of hired employees. It is not proper to use SSNVS for non-wage reporting purposes, such as identity, credit checks, mortgage applications, etc.


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