Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our BSO Customer Service and Technical Support hold times on the phone may be longer than usual. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Please review our current guidance for in-person appointments if you require a visit to one of our Field Offices.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is committed to maintaining the accuracy of earnings records used to determine benefit amounts to ensure customers get the benefits they have earned. If we cannot match the name and Social Security Number (SSN) reported on a wage and tax statement (Form W-2) to our records, we cannot credit the earnings to a worker’s record. When earnings are missing, the worker may not qualify for Social Security benefits or the benefit amount may be wrong.
There are a number of reasons why reported names and SSNs may not agree with our records, such as typographical errors, unreported name changes, and inaccurate or incomplete employer records.
On this page are resources and free online tools to assist with accurate wage reporting, including how to register for Business Services Online (BSO) and how to view and correct name and SSN errors. Please note that in order to view and correct name and SSN errors, you must have a BSO account first, and then complete the activation code process to be granted access to view name and SSN errors, as described in more detail below.
Every year we work hard to educate employers - large and small, at the national and local levels—about the importance of accurate wage records and the free tools available to them. For example, we work closely with the payroll community through organizations such as the American Payroll Association and the National Association of Computerized Tax Processors. We speak at the Internal Revenue Service’s Nationwide Tax Forums and participate in quarterly meetings with Reporting Agents (large third-party filers). And, our Employer Services Liaison Officers and Public Affairs Specialist educate small business employers throughout the nation through local engagements.
In all of the activities, we include information about BSO and the tools available to help employers correct errors before, during, and after the development and submission of their wage reports.
In March of 2019, we began mailing notifications to employers identified as having at least one name and combination submitted on Form W-2 that do not match our record. The purpose of the letter is to advise employers that corrections are needed in order for us to properly post its employee’s earnings to the correct record and to educate them about the tools available on BSO.
At present, we are discontinuing EDCOR letters to focus on making it a better, easier, more convenient experience for employers to report wages electronically. We also will continue to seek out new opportunities to educate employers.Sample of the notices We Sent Questions Employers Asked
In January 2021, we successfully piloted modernized software for electronic wage reporting that informs wage reporters of certain errors in real time as they upload their wage reports. We plan to implement this new software nationwide in time for the next annual reporting cycle. We will continue to bring our systems into the 21st century and update you on our progress. Our goal is to bring you easy-to-use, modern solutions that provide real-time information about the status and accuracy of wage reports.
Register for Business Services Online (BSO)
Retrieve Name and SSN Errors - view a video or read the following:
Use the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) - read instructions or view the following videos:
Work with your employees to resolve the error. We provided a sample Social Security Number Verification letter you can give to employees.
- How can I verify employees’ Social Security numbers?
- How do I file W-2s, W-2Cs and W-3s for my employees?
- Will I get penalized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for having an incorrect SSN (TIN) on a Form W-2?
- What should I do if my employee’s name and Social Security number do not match Internal Revenue Service records?
- How can my employee change or correct their name on their Social Security number card?
- Does my employee need to do anything to correct their earnings record?
- How does my employee apply for a replacement Social Security number card?