The Gross-Steinberg Family Tree presents:

Requesting Social Security Records

by James Gross

Hello there, While you read the social security info, be sure not to miss the info on the CLAIM FILE.

Social Security Database

This index seems to contain the majority of people
who died after 1964. After you get your info,
you can write to the Social Security Administration,
cite the "Freedom of Information Act",and receive a copy of
the individual's application for a Social Security card.
The price went up and it now costs $30

Date:    Sun, 8 Jun 1997 22:37:53 +0000
From:    Michael Steinore 
Subject: Good news on requesting Social Security Information

Here's an e-mail from Bruce Carter at SSA, which provides additional
information should you decide to request SS-5 information in writing.
He confirms that SS-5 information can take months to receive:

   This is in response to your request for information about
   fees and procedures for requesting genealogical information.

   We are able to search for information about individuals when
   the Social Security number (SSN) or certain identifying
   information is provided.  Ordinarily, the identifying
   information needed to locate a SSN is the person's full name,
   date and place of birth, and both parents' names (including
   the mother's maiden name).   We did not begin keeping records
   until November 1936; therefore, we would not have any records
   on individuals who died before that time.

   Our records are generally confidential and we do not disclose
   information about individuals unless they are deceased or we
   have their written consent.  We cannot make a decision on
   disclosure, however, until we can locate the records you are
   requesting.  Since we are not always notified of an
   individual's death, it would be helpful if you could provide
   proof of death with your request.

   We can generally provide a copy of the Application for a SSN
   for deceased individuals.  This document usually contains the
   person's name, date and place of birth, and parents' names
   which were given when he/she applied for a Social Security

-> Sometimes we can recall a claim file from our program service <-
   center or a Federal Records Center.  The documents in a claim
   file may include applications for benefits, military records,
   marriage records, and birth and death records.  Information
   found in the claim file about living individuals, however,
   would be deleted.  Claim files are ordinarily destroyed
   within a few years after the death of the last person
   receiving benefits on a record.

   Information relating to earnings and employment contained in
   our records comes to us from tax returns filed with the
   Internal Revenue Service.  We are generally prohibited by law
   from disclosing this information for other than Social
   Security purposes.

   The fee for searching for the application for a SSN when the
   SSN is provided is $7.00, and when the number is unknown but
   identifying information is provided the fee is $16.50.  The
   search fee will be charged even if we are unable to locate or
   disclose any information.  The cost for searching for the
   claim file is $14, photocopying material from the claim file
   is 10 cents a page, plus actual postage.  The search fee will
   be charged even if we are unable to locate the information
   you are requesting or if the file has been destroyed.  A copy
   of our fee schedule is enclosed for your information.  You
   may pay by check or money order made payable to the Social
   Security Administration or by credit card (MasterCard or Visa
   only).  If you want to pay by credit card, please be sure to
   include your credit card number and expiration date.  You
   should send your payment to my attention at 4-C-5 Annex
   Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.

   It may takes two to three months to receive a copy of the
   SS-5 and longer to receive claim file information (it may
   take even longer if the claim file has to be recalled from
   the Federal Records Center).

   You may use your own form letter for each request and fill in
   the individual's name and Social Security number or
   identifying information to search for the Social Security
   number.  Your letter should state what you are requesting
   (SS-5, claim file, or both).

Article 8 of 61
Subject:      Soc security address
From:         J Gross (
Date:         1997/03/20
Newsgroups:   soc.genealogy.jewish

On 18 Mar 1997 (, posted:
>I am finally ready to send off a number of requests for copies
>of my relatives' application forms for getting Social Security
>numbers.Following the information I had been given a month
>or two ago, I prepared a number of letters addressed as follows:
>        Mr Vincent Sanudo
>        Freedom of Information Act Officer
>        Social Security Administration
>        4-C-5 Annex Building
>        6401 Security Blvd
>        Baltimore, MD 21235
>   I wasn't sure to whom I should make the $7 check for each request
>payable to, so I brought up Yigal Rechtman's web page and scanned
>his FAQ on the subject of Social Security. If I understood correctly
>what I read, the above address was no longer valid after October 1996.
>The FAQ gives new address information as follows:
>        The address of the Freedom of Information Offices is:
>        Social Security Administration
>        Office of Central Operations - Genealogy
>        300 N. Greene Street
>        Baltimore, MD 21235
>Can anyone confirm that this is now the correct address?
Always be careful when going by info on peoples webpages as, even
if the info WAS correct, it could still be old info. In this case,
I called social security (1-800-772-1213,press 6 when asked), spoke
to a live person, and was told that security blvd is still being used.
I was given a slightly different office#, but was unable to get a
printing date on the booklet being read to me on the phone. I was
advised that mail sent  to a wrong office# at Security blvd would just
be transfered to the right office as its in the same building. So, I'm
not changing my soc sec info.
By the way, you send $7 via check along with proof of death.

James H. Gross
Cherry Hill,N.J.

Article 41 of 61
Subject:      US Social Security Death Index online (fwd)
From:         Bernard Kouchel (koosh@BCFREENET.SEFLIN.LIB.FL.US)
Date:         1996/07/04
Newsgroups:   soc.genealogy.jewish

I'm sorry to report that that Web site for SSDI is not functioning at
this time, but look for it at a later date.

 Bernard I. Kouchel         JGSBCFL

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 14:46:06 LCL From: Loren Bialik Subject: Social Security Letter Forwarding Social Security Letter Forwarding - PART 1 Disclosure/Confidentiality of Information 03308.001 General While Regulation No. 1 does not permit SSA to disclose information about the whereabouts of a missing person except as provided for the Parent Locator Service, where public interest in disclosure outweights the individual's right to privacy, or where the disclosure is otherwise required by the FOIA (ed: Freedom of Information Act), circumstances may arise when it would be proper to inform the missing person of information about which he would want to know. Where strongly compelling circumstances of this nature exist, we may forward a letter to him/her. Where he/she is known to be deceased, see GN 03305.025 M. See GN 03308.035 below and GN 00311.005 for information when fees are charges ad the amount of the fees. 03308.005 Policy on Forwarding Letters A. Because of the wide variety of reasons for which one individual may wish to contact another, most of which would not meet the criteria set out in B., below, the letter forwarding policy must be restrictive. Ascertain why the inquirer wants to get in touch with the missing person and then make the appropriate determination under GN 03308.010 below. B. The letter forwarding policy is restrictive because: 1. The inquirer can be helped only if the addressee replies to the letter. Thus it would serve little purpose to forward a letter to an individual unless it contains information that he/she could reasonably be expected to want to receive and which would cause him/her to reply. This excludes requests involving past-due bills, estrangement cases, business propositions, and other issues which are primarily for the beneift of the requester rather than the missing person. 2. SSA does not want to burder employers. Most letters must be forwarded through the last employer of record. (Several large employers have asked us not to send letters to their employees in care of the company.) 3. If all requests to forward letters were honored, the volume would significantly interfere with normal operations. 03308.010 When an Offer to Forward a Letter May be Made A. Criteria for Forwarding a Letter. Do not offer to forward a letter unless it is clear, based on the evidence presented by the inquier, that the following conditions are met: 1. There are strongly compelling reasons for wanting to get in touch with the missing person (see GN 03308.015 below); 2. The missing person would want to know about the contents of the letter; 3. The missing person's disappearance occurred far enough in the past that SSA could reasonably expect to have a usable mailing address (remember that annual reporting results in a lapse of several months before employer addresses can be extracted); and 4. All other possibilities for contacting the missing person have been exhausted. B. DO/BO Procedures when Criteria are Met. 1. Review for Sufficient Information In order to forward a letter when a request meets the criteria listed above, SSA must have sufficient information to locate the missing person's record. The missing person's name and SSN are adequate for this purpose. The letter to be forwarded must be submitted in a plain unsealed, unstamped envelope bearing only the missing person's name and SSN. See a. and b. for special cases. a. SSN not known If the SSN is not available, the inquirer must furnish enough identifying information to enable SSA to determine the correct SSN. SSA will need the following: 1) date and place of birth and 2) name of parents, or 3) name address of last known employer and 4) period in which such employment occured. b. Missing Person has no SSN If the missing person is a beneficiary with no SSN of his/her own, sufficient information must be furnished to locate the claims folder. 2. Review for Language The letter must be reviewed to ensure that it: a. is not inflammatory or derogatory b. contains no obscene language c. will not cause embarrassment if opened by someone other than the addressee (i.e. when forwarded through an employer) If the letter does not meet SSA standards, it should be returned for revision. 3. Insufficient Information Furnished In transmitting a request to OCRO, if the letter contains insufficient information to determine that the criteria are met, the DO/BO will enclose an RC indicating why it appears that the criteria are met. 4. Inform Requester of SSA Responsibility Tell the requester at the time an offer to forward is made that SSA cannot be sure that the letter will reach the missing person or that he/she will reply. Also indicate that if SSA attempts to forward a letter, SSA cannot inform him/her of the results of that attempt. Subsequent letter for the same purpose will not be forwarded. C. Request to Forward Letter If the initial request asks that SSA forward a letter and the conditions in A. above are not met, inform the requester that our letter forwarding policy apples only in restricted circumstances and that the request does not meet the criteria. When the request is recieved by mail either in the DO/BO or reviewing office, and SSA cannot tell from the request or the letter to be forwarded what the writer's reason for contacting the missing person is, deny the request and explain under what circumstance SSA would forward a letter. Pictures, documents, and items of value (cash, stamps, checks, jewelry, etc.) cannot be forwarded because SSA cannot assure that: 1. The missing person will receive the letter forwarded. 2. The item will be returned to the requester if the letter is undelivered. PART II - Request to Forward a Letter. Apparently from Social Security's SOP. 03308.015 When Strongly Compelling Reasons May be Deemed to Exist. A. A Strong Humanitarian Purpose Will Be Served. To be of any assistance to the inquirer in these cases, SSA must be reasonaly certain that the circumstances are of such a compelling nature that the addressee would reply to the letter. Thus, usually do not offer to forward in estrangement cases where one estranged spouse is trying to locate the other. In such cases, the missing person usually will be aware of the consequences normally resulting from his/her disappearance, such as the fact that the family needs money, minor children need/want his/her presence, or that the requester may wish to remarry. If a child under the age of 18 is in the household of the estranged spouse, do not offer to forward a letter from the child to the missing person. EXCEPTION: Cases where a child of the missing person is ill, dying, or without parental care. Also, if a child is 18 years of age or older, or an age and not in the household of the estranged spouse. Pictures, documents, and items of value (cash, stamps, checks, jewelry, etc.) cannot be forwarded because SSA cannot assure that: 1) The missing person will receive the letter forwarded. 2) The item will be returned to the requester if the letter is undelivered. Following are examples of circumstances where a strong humanitarian purpose will be served: 1. A close relative of the missing person is seriously ill, is dying, or has died. 2. A child is left without parental care because the parent who had the child in his care has become incapable of caring for the child subsequent to the missing parent's disappearance. 3. A defendamt in a felony case is seeking a defense witness. 4. A parent wishes to locate a missing son or daughter. (Where a son, daughter, brother, or sister of a missing person wishes to establish contact with such missing relatives, see GN 03308.030 below for special procedures to follow.) 5. The consent of the missing person is needed in connection with an adoption proceeding for his/her child. The letter to be forwarded should say only that the cooperation of the missing person is needed in connection with an adoption proceeding. It should not specify that the missing person's child is involved. If situations not falling within the above caegories arise, and the DO/BO believes the reasons for making contact to be so compelling as to render denial of the request unreasonable, prepare an RC outlining the reasons why an exception should be made and refer the matter to the ARC, Programs servicing the DO/BO for further consideration. The DO/BO should make no commitment to forward a letter because the ARC will respond to the individual. If the decision is to comply, the ARC will obtain the mailing address from a DO/BO or OCRO, as appropriate. If the situations fall within the above categories, and the DO/BO has a useable mailing address for the missing person, the DO/BO should forward the letter. If the DO/BO does not have an address, refer the request to OCRO. B. A Monetary or Other Consideration is Involved. A strongly compelling reason to forward a letter may be deemed to exist if monetary or other valuable considerations are involved and, in accordance with the rules in GH 03308.020 below, it seems reasonable to assume that the missing person does not know of it. The follwoing are examples of typical situations falling in this category: 1. The missing person is the beneficiary of an estate and the executor or administrator is trying to locate him. Sorry, this is where it cuts off.... But very useful information, and how appropriate. LOREN --------- Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 21:27:18 -0500 From: David Ben Leavitt Subject: Re: JEWISHGEN Digest - 7 Jan 1998 - Special issue (#19 Adm Bronstein wrote: >HOWEVER, they enclosed a copy of Form OA-C790 (Request For >E/R Action...whatever that is!). It is a very small form with >only a a few of relevent pieces of information. Does anybody >know what this form is? > >Additionally, written in the comments section it says "Original >SS-5 sent to P/C with Claim" What or where is P/C? If it helps, >the first entry on the form says DISTRICT OFFICE, and written >in the box is Philadelphia. > I work for Social Security, so I can help a little. I don't recall the OA-C790 (though it's probably an old form--we haven't used forms with the OA-C designation in years). I assume from its title that it was sent to you in error, as the E/R (or Earnings Record) is the actual list of the person's employers, covered earnings, and so on. If it's a "Request for E/R Action" I suspect it's a form we used to correct mistakes on the earnings record. If you can give some more info, I could check this out more closely. As for the annotation, "Original SS-5 sent to P/C with Claim," that's a little easier. Social Security claims are taken in district offices all around the country (these are your local Social Security offices). Years ago, all claims had to be reviewed in one of six Payment Centers, in order to ensure accuracy (Payment Centers have since been renamed Program Centers and later Program Service Centers; they are also called Processing Centers). In order to control against setting up duplicate claim folders in the program centers(and possible duplicate payments), the original SS-5 was included with the claim material (that is, the application, the earnings record of the individual, and necessary proofs and documentation). Payment would not be made unless the SS-5 was in the claims folder in the Program Service Center. Gradually, as time went on, the district offices were allowed to process more and more claims either to completion or almost so (with only a consistency check performed in the Program Center), based upon certain characteristics of each claim. After this had been going on for several years, the Office of Central Records Operations (which held the SS-5s until a claim was filed) began microfilming the original SS-5s and keeping the microfilm on site, sending the original SS-5 into storage; as this occurred, the requirement for the original SS-5 to be in the folder in order to pay the claim was dropped. Now, any claim file in the PCs that had reached a certain age without being accessed was eventually destroyed. If the SS-5 was in the folder at that time, and it had never been microfilmed (or if the microfilm was lost), access to the SS-5 became impossible. If it says "District Office: Philadelphia" then it means the claim (or possibly the SS-5, though I believe the first more likely) was taken in a local office in Philadelphia. At this time, there are about 7 or so district offices in Philadelphia; perhaps when the claim was filed there was only one (or perhaps it's referring to the downtown office). I hope this helps. David Ben Leavitt -------- Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 05:48:33 GMT From: Daniel Kravetz Subject: Re: Unusual Social Security Number That is not correct. A Social Security Number followed by an "A" means the number-holder is (or was) entitled to Retirement Insurance Benefits, with or without Medicare coverage. The "A" is a Beneficiary Identification Code (BIC). The Social Security Number (SSN) followed by a BIC constitues a claim number. The claim number for a widow, for example, is her late husband's SSN followed by a BIC of "D." The claim number for an aged person who is entitled to Medicare but not cash benefits is his/her SSN followed by a BIC of "M" or "T" depending on the circumstances. Daniel Kravetz

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