We issued this report to determine whether the Social Security Administration (SSA) should continue excluding Numident records that contain numberholders’ dates of death from the Death Master File (DMF).
The Numident is a numerically ordered master file of all assigned Social Security numbers (SSN).
SSA uses death information from the Numident to compile a record of reported deaths known as the DMF. SSA provides the DMF to Federal benefit-paying agencies for use in preventing payments to deceased individuals. SSA also provides a version of the DMF to the Department of Commerce, which, in turn, sells that data to public and private customers.
Prior Office of the Inspector General reports have identified millions of deceased numberholders who had no death information on the Numident. As a result, these numberholders’ information did not appear on the DMF. For this review, we matched Numident records that listed the numberholders’ dates of death against the DMF and identified numberholders who had death information on the Numident whose information did not appear on the DMF.