The SSA has recently resumed sending DECOR notices, commonly referred to as "No Match Letters" to employers when the name and Social Security Number on a form W-2 do not agree with the SSA's records.
Many employers review the employee's SSA Card at the time of hire for Form I-9 compliance (although other documentation is acceptable and must be accepted if presented). If you have the opportunity, carefully review the employee's Social Security Card at time of hire to ensure you record the employee's name for tax purposes to agree with the SSA. Common problems include:
- Marriage or divorce, with SSA records not updated by the employee.
- Ethnic surnames recorded differently with SSA than commonly used by the employee.
- Identity theft - a valid SSN is being used by an individual other than the actual account holder.
- Employee address missing on form W-2 or is not a valid USPS address.
Employers who receive these letters are required to take reasonable and timely steps to address the issue. SSA advises that employees may need 90 days or more to make records changes. Employers are advised to make copies of any correspondence (even e-mails) they use to communicate with separated employees for a period no less than 4 years.