Why a Background Check Should Include Social Security Number Verification

Social Security Number Verification

When an employer conducts a Social Security number background check on a job applicant, it is critical to obtain the most accurate and complete information to decide whether or not to hire that person. This can be difficult because several people have the same name, and people often change their names, for example, when they marry.

Verifying and validating a Social Security Number(SSN) is a critical first step in helping employers ensure they receive accurate and complete information. This confirms that the social security number is valid and has been issued to the person in question. A criminal background check by social security number can be the best way to help an organization validate any employee.

Despite the recent caution about Social Security numbers, some employers still ask for a Social Security number on a job application. For example, employers may request Social Security numbers on a job application because they have not understood how these numbers are used in hiring.

Social Security Numbers(SSN)

A Social Security Number, sometimes called an “SSN,” is a nine-digit number assigned by the United States Social Security Administration. The number’s primary use is to track a person’s Social Security and Medicare payments so that the worker receives benefits after becoming disabled or retiring from the workforce. Other governmental organizations, like the Internal Revenue Service, also utilize it to identify people.

A few decades ago, social security numbers were often used as identification numbers in educational institutions and workplaces. But growing concerns about identity theft ended the practice in many places. The Social Security Administration and other public interest groups urge people to reveal their Social Security numbers to others.

Confirming the applicant’s social security number can help you get complete information

A background check that searches for records based only on the applicant’s name and date of birth may exclude information if a different name previously knew the person. If a person committed a crime while using their maiden name and the background check only searched up records under their married name, for instance, the criminal record might go unnoticed.

Searching by social security number may provide complete information. Check background with social security number to reveal information about other names and addresses where a person has lived. Knowing all the names used in the past and present allows the background check company to find any criminal records. By knowing past addresses, a background check company will know which jurisdictions to check for possible records of criminal convictions.

However, there are specific possibilities in which it is acceptable for governmental organizations, educational institutions, and companies to request someone’s social security number. For example, when you hire a new employee, you must verify their social security number to determine if that person is eligible to work in the United States.

In addition, you provide the number on payroll so that employee income can be reported to the IRS and appropriate deductions for Social Security and Medicare benefits can be made with each paycheck.

Conduct thorough background checks on job applicants

Prior to hiring someone, you should thoroughly investigate their background when searching for candidates for an open position. An applicant’s criminal history can be discovered through a background check, which can help you make decisions and shield you from claims of irresponsible hiring. A background check should begin by checking the applicant’s social security number to verify identity and determine which names and addresses to use for further searches.


State and local employment laws may limit what information you can request on a job application. For example, have your attorney review the application forms to ensure they comply with all laws, regulations, and ordinances.

Handling Social Security Numbers

Due to the sensitive nature of Social Security numbers, you must have a process in place to protect and dispose of this information when necessary. Documents containing this information should be separated from less sensitive paperwork, and access to these documents should only be granted when necessary.

For example, you may want to restrict access to these documents to senior HR personnel. At the same time, hiring managers and administrative staff who may request and collect these documents should have a process to protect them until they are handed over to Human Resources.

In addition, there should also be a process for destroying records containing sensitive employee information after the records are no longer required to be kept on file.


Pawan Kumar

I'm a Content Marketer at Springworks. I've been featured in many reputed publications and online magazines! I'm an avid reader and movie buff. Let's connect on Social Media.

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