The Social Security Administration will not facilitate a pre-employment trace. As a professional agency, we can.
A social security trace is an important tool for identifying certain key aspects of an employment applicant’s life. It can also confirm or deny certain factual information provided by that applicant, which may be intentionally incorrect or due to human error.
Why is this important? Truth and accuracy are important traits, regardless of the position being filled. But employers need to protect themselves from negligent hiring litigation.
Consider what a social security number trace (SSN Trace) can yield:
- If the name of your applicant matches the name associated with the Social Security Number (SSN), and if the person assigned that number is deceased.
- If there is more than one name that currently or over time have used the SSN.
- If addresses provided by the applicant square with the addresses associated with the SSN; address histories go back at least seven years.
- With accurate address information, it is possible to investigate the applicant further, which could include conducting a criminal background search.
Of particular value to an employer is when a name or location was undisclosed or falsely reported in the employment application. It often flags the need to conduct a criminal background check for that specific timeframe. Anomalies in a trace suggest that deeper investigation is warranted.
Note that the search works through private credit reporting agencies, not government sources; the Social Security Administration, a federal agency, prohibits use of their bureau for pre-employment checks (once hired, the SSA will verify validity of the SSN for payroll tax purposes). Credit bureaus are private organizations and therefore are able to conduct these searches from their database.
Almost 99 percent of applicants can be checked through a SSN Trace. The few who cannot are either undocumented non-residents or simply so new to employment that they haven’t yet established credit records.
If you have questions regarding employee background screening and social security traces or would like more information, please call us at 1-800-690-4362 or fill out the form below to be contacted by one of our knowledgeable and friendly Background Screening Consultants.
Contact Us About Social Security Traces