Auxiliary Beneficiaries Who Do Not Have Their Own Social Security Number

Date: 
Monday, September 29, 2014
Report Number: 
A-01-14-14036
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

Auxiliary beneficiaries are children, widows, spouses, and parents who receive Title II Social Security benefits based on another wage earner‘s Social Security record. As such, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the primary wage earner’s—not the auxiliary beneficiary’s—Social Security number (SSN) to track the auxiliary’s benefit payments on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR).

The Social Security Act requires that individuals first entitled to benefits as of June 1, 1989 or later, must have, or have applied for, an SSN to receive Title II benefits.

In 2008, we conducted a review that identified 63,134 Title II auxiliary beneficiaries who did not have their own SSN on the MBR. To conduct our current review, we obtained a file of 12,370 Title II auxiliary beneficiaries who were receiving benefits as of July 2013 and whose SSNs were missing from the MBR.

The objective of this report was to evaluate Title II auxiliary beneficiaries who did not have their own SSN and quantify incorrect payments to those who died.