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The Importance of SSN Verification in Employee Background Checks

April 4, 2024

3 minutes read

Social Security numbers (SSNs), the nine-digit identifiers assigned to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, play a vital role in various aspects of life, including employment history tracking, tax payments, and Social Security benefits. SSN verification has become a cornerstone of the employee background check process, offering employers valuable insights into job applicants.

In the employee background check process, SSN verification is crucial for employers to:

Verify Identity:  Identity Checks in SSN verification ensures that job applicants are genuinely who they claim to be, safeguarding against identity theft—a growing concern exploited by criminals for employment purposes.

Detect Fraudulent Activities: Employers can identify fraudulent resumes or applications by cross-referencing an applicant’s claimed employment history with the SSN on record at the relevant companies.

Identify Potential Risks: SSN verification aids in revealing potential risks like criminal records or bankruptcies, providing employers with valuable information for informed hiring decisions.

How SSN Verification Works

Third-Party Services:

Commonly used, these services access SSN databases to validate SSNs against claimants, offering a streamlined verification process. For robust identity checks, US standards rely on authoritative databases like major credit bureaus and financial institutions. This involves cross-referencing individual details with trusted sources adhering to Customer Identification Program (CIP) standards.

eCBSV Security Check:

eCBSV ensures Social Security Number (SSN) validity but is exclusive to financial institutions, verifying against official records. Results are communicated on a pass/fail basis, maintaining user privacy and necessitating strict consent adherence for organisational compliance.

Document Verification:

SSN verification extends to document authentication, where individuals submit their SSN and capture relevant documents, ensuring authenticity and cross-referencing details for accuracy. Accepted documents include W-2, SSA-1099, Non-SSA 1099, 1098, paystubs, and financial documents, all displaying the full SSN.

Challenges of SSN Verification

Navigating Social Security Number (SSN) verification comes with its set of challenges. Firstly, it can be time-consuming and incur costs, especially when relying on external services. Employers may face the dilemma of balancing between efficient verification and budget constraints. The method’s non-foolproof nature adds another layer of complexity, as criminals can still manipulate or use falsified SSNs. This underscores the importance of adopting a multi-faceted approach to verification.

For large-scale verifications, resource-intensive processes may become a hurdle, necessitating strategic planning and allocation. The limited verification options available directly through the Social Security Administration (SSA) may pose difficulties, particularly when dealing with high-risk positions or industries with strict compliance requirements.

Despite these challenges, employers can navigate SSN verification effectively by adhering to best practices.

Best Practices for SSN Verification

Choose Reputable Services:

LMDmax has partnered with Signzy, an esteemed digital onboarding and identity verification solutions provider, revolutionising employee onboarding. This strategic alliance has substantially slashed the time and cost involved in onboarding while ensuring heightened accuracy throughout the process.

Use Multiple Verification Methods:

Dependence solely on SSN verification falls short of comprehensive identity verification. Employers are advised to augment this process with background checks and reference verifications to ensure a thorough examination. Leveraging Signzy’s API marketplace, employers can consolidate all checks in one platform, facilitating swift and efficient employee verification within minutes.


SSN verification is integral to the employee background check process, offering employers a robust means of identity verification, fraud detection, and risk identification. Adhering to best practices, employers can ensure an effective and efficient SSN verification process, contributing to a reliable and secure hiring environment.

Learn more about the implication of SSN verification with us. Get a demo today!

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