Social Security Death Master File

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Important: The ssdmf database is updated once a week. The last update date is MAY 19, 2017

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ABOUT US > Overview

Limited Access DMF Overview and Usage

Pension & Benefit plans - Many plans (Retirement, Unemployment, Pension, Welfare, etc.) have a fiduciary obligation to ensure that the plans are properly managed. Limited Access DMF can assists plan managers in the following problem areas:

Detection of Erroneous Payments - Limited Access DMF can be used to identify cases where payments to deceased benefit recipients have been illegally cashed by heirs or friends of the deceased recipient. In cases of benefit programs, plan managers can detects recipients who fraudulently file claims using the identity of a deceased person. Some of these cases involve fraud and many years of payments to deceased recipients.

Reduction of Retirement Contributions Limited Access DMF can be use to identify vested employees who have terminated their employment and subsequently died. In each case where this occurs, the plan administrator can reduce plan contributions by thousands of dollars.

Financial Institutions - Banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions are liable for money withdrawn from accounts of deceased persons. For years these financial institutions have utilized strict controls to maintain security over funds deposited and to evaluate customer credit. However, little or nothing is being done to identify when a customer has died and if the SSNs in their files are accurate.

Attempts are made to minimize this liability by such means as reviewing local obituaries, depending on family members for notification, and signature cards, but these procedures are cumbersome, costly, and not always effective. The absence of an inexpensive and effective method to detect improper SSNs and when customers have died has resulted in unnecessary legal and administrative expenses, as well as financial losses. The following are some specific examples of how Limited Access DMF can be used by financial institutions.

Social Security and Pension Checks - John Doe has a checking account at a bank. John's pension check is directly deposited to this account. John dies and his wife Jane does not inform either the bank or the Pension Plan of his death, but someone continues to withdraw funds from the account. Several years later the Pension Plan discovers that John is dead and requests full recovery from the bank. The bank pays the claim, and expends attorney time and administrative expense to recover the loss from Jane.

Credit Cards - John applies for credit with an improper SSN or in the name of a deceased person. Normal credit bureau verification procedures do not reveal any credit history problem, or such history has been purged because the account is inactive. John is granted the loan or credit card and is never heard from again.

Trust Accounts - A bank's trust department administers trust accounts for corporate pension plans and individual estates. It would be beneficial to both the bank and the originator of the trust account to know when someone within the trust has died.

Loans - Jane has a loan from a bank and dies. Assets in her estate are liquidated before her death is discovered, and the bank is forced to write off the loan.

Wills - John dies and indicates in his will that he is leaving his estate to charity, and not to his wife. John's wife improperly withdraws all the money from his accounts before the bank is notified of his death. The charity files a law suit against the bank to affect recovery.

Research Projects Limited Access DMF has been used to extract, sort, match and summarize death information using various criteria for medical, FDA and other Government regulations, child support, estate settlements, legal requirements, genealogy, skip tracing, and other research purposes.

Mailing Lists - Most mailers want to prevent mailings in the name of a deceased person to the family of that person. This is negative advertising. In addition, postage costs are wasted when mail is sent to a deceased person and returned by the post office. Limited Access DMF can be used to purge deceased persons from the mailing lists.

Other Uses - Limited Access DMF can be used as a tool by federal and state regulatory agencies and auditors to purge voter registration rolls; audit banks and other financial institutions; and verify that required estate tax returns have been filed. The Limited Access DMF has also been instrumental in genealogy studies

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