Recently, we have learned that our clients are receiving letters from the Social Security Administration indicating that the Social Security Numbers submitted with payments for FICA and, presumably, Medicare, do not match. This often may involve an undocumented worker; however, it could simply mean a clerical error. The employer who receives a no-match letter stands on a border between knowingly complying with the Immigration Act of 1986, which requires the documentation of all employees by completion of an I–9 and, on the other side, a requirement that employers may not discriminate on the basis of origin.
Since receipt of these no–match letters is apparently increasing, employers are becoming anxious about what they should do once they receive such a letter. To satisfy nondiscrimination and immigration laws, the employer should immediately notify the employee and provide a reasonable period for the employee to correct their Social Security records and/or provide evidence of work authorization in the United States. We recommend that the employer document the I-9 file with the notice and with advice to the employee. By giving the employee a reasonable period of time, we suggest 90 days, the employer is complying with immigration regulations and is permitting the employee the opportunity to clarify their status.
If you have received a letter indicating that your employee has a Social Security Number that does not match, or for assistance with policies and procedures, please contact Natasha M. Nazareth or A. Howard Metro at McMillan Metro, P.C. at (301) 251-1180.
–According to a New York Times article dated May 16, 2019, President Trump ordered the Social Security Administration to start sending these letters, and 570,000 employers have received such letters since March 2019.