DHS to Rescind Social Security No-match Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing a new regulation rescinding the 2007 social security no-match rule, which was blocked by court order shortly after issuance and has never taken effect. The rule established procedures that employers could follow if they receive Social Security Administration (SSA) no-match letters or notices from DHS that call into question work eligibility information provided by an employee. These notices most often inform an employer many months or even a year later that an employee’s name and social security number provided for a W-2 earnings report do not match SSA records – often due to typographical errors or unreported name changes.

In lieu of no-match letters, DHS will strengthen E-Verify, which also addresses data inaccuracies but in a more timely manner and provides a more robust tool for identifying unauthorized individuals and combating illegal employment. E-Verify, which compares information from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) against federal government databases to verify workers’ employment eligibility, is a free Web-based system operated by DHS in partnership with the SSA. The system facilitates compliance with federal immigration laws and helps to deter unauthorized individuals from attempting to work and also helps employers avoid employing unauthorized aliens.

DHS supports a new regulation that will award federal contracts only to employers who use E-Verify to check employee work authorization. The federal contractor rule will extend use of the E-Verify system to covered federal contractors and subcontractors, including those who receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The administration is pushing ahead with full implementation of the rule, which will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards government-wide starting September 8, 2009.

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August 2009 RENDER | back