Difference between revisions of "Social Security Death Index (SSDI)"

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{{Outdated|the fact that there have been changes to policy on the SSDI over the last couple months and this article should be reviewed with that in mind}}
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Reasons for a person not having a Social Security number include being self-employed. In the early years this included the farmers, many doctors, attorneys and other self-employed professionals.
  
[[Image:George Herbert Snell Social Security Card.JPG|thumb|right|250px]]The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is prepared by the US Government Social Security Administration and made available to various groups, including the Family History Library, to use for genealogical purposes. The U.S. Social Security Death Index is an Internet file that contains records of deaths for those who had social security numbers and the death was reported to the United States Social Security Administration. Most records start in 1962, but the file does contain a few records of deaths from 1942 until 1961.  
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==='''SSDI Contents'''===
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<br>The SSDI typically has the following information on the individuals: Month and year of the death, Social Security number State where the number was issued and the last zip code of residence or zip code where the death benefit was sent.
  
=== Errors  ===
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==='''Obtaining Additional Information Beyond the SSDI'''===
  
Estimates say approximately three percent of the reported social security numbers are in error. Until 1972, applicants were not asked if they had already been issued a number, nor were they asked for proof of identity. As a result, many persons now have more than one social security number.  
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*New in 2015: [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60901 U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007] at Ancestry.com, may be searched for free at [[Family History Centers|Family History Centers]].
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*When you find an individual in the SSDi you can request a full copy of their application, which is known as a SS-5. Rootsweb had made the process easy but is now listed under a page at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693 Ancestry.com]. After completing a search, you will find a link in the "Tools" column labeled "SS-5 letter." By clicking on the link, you will find a form letter with the name, Social Security Number, and pertinent dates from the Death Index already filled in. You will need to do the following before mailing the request to the SSA:
  
Sometimes more than one person uses the same social security number. In 1938 the number 078-05-1120 appeared on a sample account number card used in wallets sold nationwide. Several thousand people mistakenly reported this number to their employers as their own. By the 1970s there were over 20 different "pocketbook numbers." This means many people used a wrong social security number, which was the same number other people were using.  
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*Add your personal contact information to the letter. Add your name, address, and daytime telephone number.
  
=== Locations of the Database  ===
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*Include a check or money order made payable to the Social Security Administration. The SSA also accepts MasterCard, Visa, and Discover credit cards. Include the card number and expiration date if you are using a credit card. The current fee is USD $27 per record when the Social Security Number is known, and USD $29 when the number is unknown or incorrect. You are charged the fee even if the SSA is unable to locate any information on the person. It may take up to six months to receive a report, so please be patient. Ancestry.com has no way to expedite your order, or to determine when it will be sent.
  
The Social Security Death Index contains records of deaths reported to the Administration from 1936 on. There are several sites on the Internet that have the Social Security Death Index:  
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*You can also obtain copies of your ancestor's SS-5 application by:<br>[https://secure.ssa.gov/apps9/eFOIA-FEWeb/internet/main.jsp Online Request for Deceased Individual's Social Security Record], payable by credit card. Fees are the same as a mail request.&nbsp;Print Form SSA-711 “Request for Deceased Individual’s Social Security Record.” found at [http://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-711.pdf Social Security].&nbsp;Call your local Social Security office and request a copy of Form SSA-711.
  
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog-search-api%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F1856363 FamilySearch]
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==='''SS-5 Application Contents'''===
*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://familysearch.org/searchapi/search/collection/1202535 FamilySearch] SSDI
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<br>The SS-5 application is important to a family history researcher because of the detail it provides. The SS-5 application contains the following information: Applicant's full name, Age at last birthday, Date and place of birth, father and mother's full name (including the mother's maiden name), Gender and date signed and applicant's signature.<br>
*[http://www.ancestry.com/ Ancestry]
 
*[http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/ssdi Family Tree Legends]
 
*[http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx?Ca=0344&Da=269 New England Historic Genealogical Society]
 
*[http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ RootsWeb]
 
*[http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/keyword.html GenealogyBank] [updated weekly]<br>
 
  
Each website offers different search features. Using Stephen P. Morse's web site SSDI web site allows you to search all SSDI websites by typing the information once and switching between the different sites.
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==='''Websites to search'''===
  
• Steve Morse Website: http://www.stevemorse.org/index.html  
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*FamilySearch.org: [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1202535 Social Security Death Index database]. Starts in 1962.
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*[http://www.genealogybank.com/explore/ssdi/all GenealogyBank]. Starts in 1937.
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*[http://www.stevemorse.org/ssdi/ssdi.html Steve Morse ]Using Stephen P. Morse's web site SSDI web site allows you to search all SSDI websites by typing the information once and switching between the different sites including a few that are not listed here.
  
• Steve Morse SSDI Website: http://www.stevemorse.org/ssdi/ssdi.html
 
  
• Steve Morse SSDI - FAQs: http://www.stevemorse.org/ssdi/faqi.htm
 
  
The Social Security Administration updates the Death Index monthly. Every site does not update their database every month. Therefore, what you find at one site may not be available at another site.
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Les archives sont souvent stockées ans des coffres forts pour plus de sécurité<br>Il convient d'utiliser un coffre-fort certifié et un coffre-fort ignifuge pour la sécurisation des données familiales<br>Les notaires peuvent demander à ouvrir un coffre-fort A2P après enquête si besoin<br>Le site [http://www.infosafe.fr http://www.infosafe.fr] propose ce type de service d’ouverture de coffre-fort pour les successions.<br>
  
=== Information contained in the SSDI  ===
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Généralement, un coffre fort familia pourra s'ouvrir en 1 heure
  
The Social Security Death Index shows the list of people who died between 1962 and the present. The following information is included:
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<br>
  
*- Day, month, and year of birth
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[[Category:United States Online Research Sites]]
*- Day, month, and year of the death
 
*- Social Security number
 
*- State where the number was issued
 
*- Last zip code of residence or zip code where the death benefit was sent
 
 
 
=== Information Not contained in the SSDI  ===
 
 
 
The index does not contain:
 
 
 
*Information about the person's spouse, parents, or children.
 
*Birthplace information.
 
*The person's entire social security file.
 
*Information on living persons.
 
*Information on those whose deaths were not reported to the Social Security Administration.
 
 
 
The index has no way to find the married name for a woman if you only know her maiden name.
 
 
 
=== Railroad and Government Workers  ===
 
 
 
From 1937 to 1963, all railroad workers were assigned the area numbers (first three digits) 700 to 728. Since 1963, railroad workers have been assigned social security numbers according to where they live.
 
 
 
Federal and some state employees have their own retirement program and may not have received a social security number.
 
 
 
=== How to use the SSDI  ===
 
 
 
Suggestions about using the SSDI in family history research can&nbsp;&nbsp;be found at several websites.&nbsp; Check the following to read more about using the Social Security Death Index:&nbsp;
 
 
 
1. Dear Myrtle: http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/0517.htm
 
 
 
2. Dick Eastman's article "[http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=4313&o_xid=0022478094&o_lid=0022478094&o_xt=22478094 Using the Social Security Death Index]" at Ancestry.com&nbsp;-
 
 
 
3. George G. Morgan's article "[http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=919&o_xid=0022478094&o_lid=0022478094&o_xt=22478094 Using Social Security Number Application Forms for Genealogy]" at Ancestry.com click here or type the URL&nbsp;
 
 
 
4. George G. Morgan's article "Even More About Social Security Records" at Ancestry.com.
 
 
 
5. George G. Morgan's article "Using the Social Security Death Index" at Ancestry.com
 
 
 
6. Kathi Sittner's article "U.S. Social Security Death Index" at Ancestry.com
 
 
 
7. Ancestry.com Quick Tip "Social Security Index A Useful Search Tool
 
 
 
8. Ancestry.com Quick Tip "Cross-Checking to Save Money with the Social Security Death Index"
 
 
 
9. [http://www.death-records.net/ssdi.htm DeathRecords.net web site]&nbsp;
 
 
 
10. The SS-5 Form - Michael John Neill's website
 
 
 
11. SSDI Guide - RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees
 
 
 
12. How to use the SSDI - by Kimberly Powell
 
 
 
13. Additional Articles about the SSDI - ProGenealogists.com
 
 
 
14. [http://www.cyndislist.com/socsec.htm CyndisList for US Social Security]
 
 
 
15. [http://www.ssa.gov/ The official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration]
 
 
 
16. [http://www.ssa.gov/history The History of Social Security]
 
 
 
17. [[Www.ssa.gov/foia/foia guide.htm|Social Security Administration's guide to ordering your ancestor's application]]
 
 
 
=== Obtaining More Information&nbsp;from the SSDI  ===
 
 
 
When you find an individual in the Index, you can request a full copy of their application, which is known as a SS-5.
 
 
 
You may request a copy of the application directly on line at [http://www.ssa.gov/foia/html/foia_guide.htm#Requests Freedom of Information] site. The cost is the same as below, you will need to use a credit card for the charge.
 
 
 
RootsWeb has made the process easy. After completing a search, you will find a link in the "Tools" column labeled "SS-5 letter." By clicking on the link, you will find a form letter with the name, Social Security Number, and pertinent dates from the Death Index already filled in. You will need to do the following before mailing the request to the SSA:
 
 
 
• Add your personal contact information to the letter. Add your name, address, and daytime telephone number.
 
 
 
• Include a check or money order made payable to the Social Security Administration. The SSA also accepts MasterCard, Visa, and Discover credit cards. Include the card number and expiration date if you are using a credit card.
 
 
 
The current fee (February 2008) is $27 per record when the Social Security Number is known, and $29 when the number is unknown or incorrect. You are charged the fee even if the SSA is unable to locate any information on the person.
 
 
 
It may take up to six months to receive a report, so please be patient. RootsWeb has no way to expedite your order, or to determine when it will be sent.
 
 
 
== Release of Personal Information  ==
 
 
 
Individuals concerned about the release of personal information of those who have died may be interested in the following information from RootWeb or Wiki.
 
 
 
Question. The SSDI (Social Security Death Index) at various locations on the internet includes the Social Security numbers of my deceased family members. Won't this put them at risk of having their identities stolen?
 
 
 
Answer. On the contrary, the publishing of the Social Security numbers and names of deceased individuals enables businesses and other interested parties to verify whether or not a Social Security number is active or whether the account holder is deceased. This actually serves to prevent identity theft by publicly posting a list of deceased individuals. Social Security numbers are not re-used.
 
 
 
Excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Death_Index
 
 
 
Given the growing problem of identity theft and the importance of the Social Security Number as a personal identifier in the United States, it might seem unusual that these identifiers are released publicly. The principle involved is that living persons have a right to privacy which includes the right not to have their Social Security Number revealed, but once a person dies they lose their right to privacy and therefore the United States Department of Social Security can reveal their number and report their dates and places of birth and death.
 
 
 
== Research Tips  ==
 
 
 
=== Tip 1. What if I can't find my ancestor's name?  ===
 
 
 
Before concluding that your ancestor's name is not in the index, consider the following:
 
 
 
*If you are looking for a married woman's name, remember it will most likely be listed under her last husband's surname, NOT her maiden name. If a woman was married more than once, check all married names.
 
*The person may be listed with the first letter of his or her given name.
 
*The person may have changed his or her given name or surname.
 
*The person may have been known by or listed under a different name (for example, Buddy instead of Franklin) or by an initial.
 
*Given names are searched by exact spelling only. Look for alternate spellings (for example, Elisabeth instead of Elizabeth).
 
*Middle names are not used. If a person was named John Albert Ernest Bolton and went by Ernest, look under John Bolton or use the initial J. Bolton.
 
 
 
Note: If you do not find your ancestor on the first search, you may need to try all possibilities of the way the name could be listed.
 
 
 
=== Tip 2. Why isn't my ancestor's name in the file?  ===
 
 
 
The following reasons may help explain why not everyone is listed on the Social Security Death Index:
 
 
 
*The person did not receive a social security number. This includes railroad and other employees not part of the Social Security system in the earlier years.
 
*The survivors did not report the death to the Social Security Administration.
 
*An error was made in issuing or reporting the Social Security number.
 
*The person died before about 1962, when the Social Security Administration began computerizing their records in ernest. A few prior to 1962 are included.
 
 
 
Question for experts: Did the SSDI start out only as an index to persons who died leaving a spouse to recieve the death benefit? [[User:AdkinsWH|AdkinsWH]] 21:11, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
 
 
 
=== Tip 3.&nbsp;Obtain the SS-5 form&nbsp;  ===
 
 
 
If you didn't find your deceased ancestor's name on the Social Security Death Index, you can still make a request for a photocopy of the SS-5 form. You will need to send the following information:
 
 
 
*Full name.
 
*Social Security Number.
 
*Proof of death.
 
 
 
Send the information and fee for the search to the following address:<br>Social Security Administration <br>P.O. Box 17772 <br>Baltimore, MD 21290
 
 
 
=== Tip 4. Learn the Social Security number for my deceased ancestor if the name is not in the Index  ===
 
 
 
If you do not know the Social Security Number, you may be able to find it in other records, such as:
 
 
 
*On a Death Certificate.
 
*In Funeral Home Records.
 
*In personal papers (such as insurance papers, employment records, pay check stubs, and so forth).
 
 
 
=== Tip 5. If I cannot find the Social Security number for my ancestor, can I still send for information?  ===
 
 
 
If you cannot find the Social Security Number, you may request a "records search" from the Social Security Administration. You need the following information:
 
 
 
*Full name.
 
*State of birth and date of birth.
 
*Parents' names (if known).
 
 
 
Send the information and fee for search to the following address:<br>Social Security Administration <br>P.O. Box 17772 <br>Baltimore, MD 21290 <br>
 
 
 
== Sample of letter requesting Social Security SS-5 form  ==
 
 
 
Social Security Administration <br>P.O. Box 17772 <br>Baltimore, MD 21290
 
 
 
Dear Freedom of Information Officer,
 
 
 
I would like a copy of the SS-5 application form for the person listed below. I am requesting this under the Freedom of Information Act.
 
 
 
BRYSON, RONALD <br>Social Security number 520-22-0360 <br>Birth: 21 Jul 1927 <br>Death: 22 Jan 1996
 
 
 
I have enclosed a printout on this individual from the Social Security Death Index to verify that he is deceased.
 
 
 
Enclosed is a check for the $27.00 charge for this service. Thank you for your help.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
<br>Jane Bryson 50 East North Temple Street Salt Lake City, UT 84150
 
 
 
RELATED ARTICLE (showing content of the SSD application):
 
 
 
[[U.S. Social Security Records for Genealogists]]
 
 
 
'''A wiki article describing an onliine collection is found at:'''
 
 
 
*[[United States Social Security Death Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
 
 
[[Category:United_States]]
 

Latest revision as of 16:59, 29 February 2016

Reasons for a person not having a Social Security number include being self-employed. In the early years this included the farmers, many doctors, attorneys and other self-employed professionals.

SSDI Contents


The SSDI typically has the following information on the individuals: Month and year of the death, Social Security number State where the number was issued and the last zip code of residence or zip code where the death benefit was sent.

Obtaining Additional Information Beyond the SSDI

  • New in 2015: U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 at Ancestry.com, may be searched for free at Family History Centers.
  • When you find an individual in the SSDi you can request a full copy of their application, which is known as a SS-5. Rootsweb had made the process easy but is now listed under a page at Ancestry.com. After completing a search, you will find a link in the "Tools" column labeled "SS-5 letter." By clicking on the link, you will find a form letter with the name, Social Security Number, and pertinent dates from the Death Index already filled in. You will need to do the following before mailing the request to the SSA:
  • Add your personal contact information to the letter. Add your name, address, and daytime telephone number.
  • Include a check or money order made payable to the Social Security Administration. The SSA also accepts MasterCard, Visa, and Discover credit cards. Include the card number and expiration date if you are using a credit card. The current fee is USD $27 per record when the Social Security Number is known, and USD $29 when the number is unknown or incorrect. You are charged the fee even if the SSA is unable to locate any information on the person. It may take up to six months to receive a report, so please be patient. Ancestry.com has no way to expedite your order, or to determine when it will be sent.

SS-5 Application Contents


The SS-5 application is important to a family history researcher because of the detail it provides. The SS-5 application contains the following information: Applicant's full name, Age at last birthday, Date and place of birth, father and mother's full name (including the mother's maiden name), Gender and date signed and applicant's signature.

Websites to search

  • FamilySearch.org: Social Security Death Index database. Starts in 1962.
  • GenealogyBank. Starts in 1937.
  • Steve Morse Using Stephen P. Morse's web site SSDI web site allows you to search all SSDI websites by typing the information once and switching between the different sites including a few that are not listed here.


Les archives sont souvent stockées ans des coffres forts pour plus de sécurité
Il convient d'utiliser un coffre-fort certifié et un coffre-fort ignifuge pour la sécurisation des données familiales
Les notaires peuvent demander à ouvrir un coffre-fort A2P après enquête si besoin
Le site http://www.infosafe.fr propose ce type de service d’ouverture de coffre-fort pour les successions.

Généralement, un coffre fort familia pourra s'ouvrir en 1 heure