Access Controls for the Social Security Number Verification Service

Date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Report Number: 
A-03-12-11204
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

In 2005, SSA implemented the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) to assist employers with accurate wage reporting and increase the ease and convenience of verifying employee names and Social Security numbers.

SSA developed several fraud detection reports to help detect whether registered companies were properly using SSNVS. The SSNVS Failed Master Earnings File (MEF) check report helps ensure there is an employer/employee relationship between the user and individual verified.

In this report, we found the controls to detect whether employers were improperly using SSA’s SSNVS program for non-employment purposes need to be improved. The Failed MEF Check reports for Calendar Years 2009 and 2010, which included about 26 million transactions, were unreliable. The reports contained numerous false positive (meaning an employer/employee relationship existed), non-SSNVS, and duplicate transactions, which made it difficult for SSA staff to identify instances where employers may have been verifying individuals who were not employees.