May 12, 2021

Without so much as a press release, in an almost hidden section of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website, an informal, but significant notice was issued that may well be of interest employers:

In March of 2019, we began mailing notifications to employers identified as having at least one name and combination submitted on Form W-2 that do not match our record. The purpose of the letter is to advise employers that corrections are needed in order for us to properly post its employee’s earnings to the correct record and to educate them about the tools available on BSO [Business Services Online portal].

At present, we are discontinuing EDCOR letters to focus on making it a better, easier, more convenient experience for employers to report wages electronically.  We also will continue to seek out new opportunities to educate employers.

In other words, the mailing of “no-match” letters (or EDCOR notifications) has come to an end. 

“No-match” letters are sent out by the SSA to employers and employees when the employee’s name and Social Security number (SSN) do not match.  Reported names and SSNs may not agree with SSA records due to typographical errors, unreported name changes, and inaccurate or incomplete employer records.  The letters were to ensure that the Social Security payments an employer makes for an employee are properly credited to the employee’s name in the Social Security system.  In these letters, SSA asked that employers correct the no-match by presenting updated name and SSN information for any employee listed in the letter using IRS Form W-2c. 

Employers may see the halt to the “no-match” letters as welcome news.  Up until now, the receipt of the letters may have placed them in a Catch-22 situation: on the one hand, a “no-match” letter might trigger the concern that an employee was working without valid authorization while, simultaneously, the employer might be wary of taking any adverse action that could be interpreted as discriminatory.

Employers can visit the SSA website to correct errors electronically.  According to Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, “I encourage all employers, large and small, to use the free tools on our Business Services Online portal.  The earnings record of every worker determines their future eligibility and the amount of Social Security benefits they will receive, so accuracy is vital.”  For questions about social security mismatches from other agencies, contact McKague Rosasco LLP. 

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