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Temporary Suspension of the Social Security Number Match with the Social Security Administration

PublicationDate: 9/9/98
Summary: Temporary Suspension of the Social Security Number Match with the Social Security Administration
Author: ODAS - Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary - SFA


Posted September 9, 1998

TO: Financial Aid Directors

FROM: Diane E. Rogers, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Student Financial Assistance Programs

SUBJECT: Temporary Suspension of the Social Security Number Match
with the Social Security Administration

The computer match between the Department of Education (ED) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) was temporarily suspended on September 4, 1998 in order to permit the renewal of the matching agreement between the two agencies. This will affect applications processed beginning on September 8, 1998. Our systems are fully operational and the ED/SSA match will resume on October 13, 1998. The Central Processing System (CPS) will otherwise continue to process all applications as usual.

The match between ED and SSA confirms the validity of an applicant's social security number (SSN) and his or her claim of U.S. citizenship. During the suspension of the match, field 77--SSN match flag and field 259--SSA citizenship indicator will be blank and the comment codes will be suppressed. Schools should assume that the student's SSN and claim of U.S. citizenship are correct and may continue to award and disburse Title IV student financial assistance accordingly, unless they have information that indicates otherwise.

When the ED/SSA match becomes effective again, we will match all transactions that were not matched during the suspension and reprocess new transactions only when the match results in a condition that requires institutional resolution. Based upon an analysis of prior year data, we expect that fewer than 5% of all applications processed during this time will result in new transactions that will require resolution. Schools should follow normal procedures for resolution of these conditions. We expect that most applicants will be able to satisfactorily resolve any discrepancy. If the school is unable to resolve the discrepancy and determines that the student was ineligible for Title IV student financial assistance, the student, not the school, is liable for any Title IV student funds that he or she received. We are revising SAR Comment #6 and SAR Acknowledgment Comment #1 to inform all students whose applications were not matched that they may be required to resolve a citizenship or SSN discrepancy and that failure to do so will result in their being required to repay any Title IV aid that was disbursed to them or on their behalf. Note that these revised comments will only appear on CPS produced SARs and SAR Acknowledgments and not as part of the EDExpress ISIR print.

We regret any inconvenience that this may cause you. If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Support Branch at 1-800-433-7327.

Last Modified: 08/16/1999