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Jul 27, 2006

Testimony on SSA's Role In Illegal Immigration

Martin Gerry, SSA's Deputy Commissioner, Office of Disability and Income Security Programs testified before the House Government Reform Committee on July 25 concerning SSA's role in illegal immigration. His testimony included the following refutation of an urban legend:

I would like to address several misconceptions surrounding SSNs and the composition of the ESF [earnings suspense file]. First is the notion that SSA has assigned the SSN 000-00-0000 to hundreds of thousands of workers. In reality, Social Security has never assigned a social security number consisting of all zeroes to any person. 000-00-0000 is not a valid SSN and Social Security does not verify an all zero SSN.

Second, many people believe that the use of all zero SSNs is growing. Actually, wage reports with all zero SSNs have declined dramatically over the past 20 years. For example, for Tax Year 1984 Social Security has approximately one million reports with an all zero SSN, remaining in the ESF, In contrast, for Tax Year 2003, Social Security has approximately 200,000 reports with an all zero SSN in the ESF.

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