UPDATED: SSA to improve number-matching service

Editor's Note: This story has been updated 5:35 p.m. March 9, 2006, to reflect that CBSV is for private businesses. This proposed program is not for companies checking new employee information, but for private companies, such as a mortgage companies needing to verify that a prospective customer’s Social Security number and name match.

The Social Security Administration is improving how it helps companies verify that an individual's name and Social Security number match, a March 6 Federal Register notice announced.

For a fee, SSA will verify the Social Security number and an individual's name for companies registered for its service, the notice states. The service will be called the Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (CBSV) service. Companies that join will split the $7.2 million that the service will cost the agency for the first year.

Participating companies that want to verify information can submit a file through a CBSV Internet application with the names of the Social Security number holders who have given consent. SSA will match the information to its master file.

“Currently, the consent-based [Social Security number] verification service for high-volume requesters is a paper-driven, labor-intensive process,” a December 2005 Federal Register notice states. The CBSV process is the first phase of the agency’s long-term strategy to handle businesses’ growing demand for verification.

Money from the Social Security Trust Fund cannot pay for this service, according to the December notice.

The Office of Management and Budget must approve CBSV. SSA expects to start the service in May or June, the notice states. If OMB approves the service, the time to enroll will be limited, and once closed, the wait to join could be as long as three years.

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