Social Security Death Index Now Restricted

The Social Security Death Index, also called the Death Master File, is more restricted as of this month. Have you noticed when you run a standard background report that if the individual or a listed relative has died within the past 3 years it is no longer reported? That’s due to changes in the law which will now require data providers get certified to receive that data from the Social Security Administration and the end user to meet certain permissible purposes (significant restrictions) to obtain verification of a death, including name, Social Security Number and last residence. Here’s how Accurint/IRBSearch explains what lies ahead:

Pursuant to law passed in December 2013 (Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013), access to information contained in the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF) is limited for a three year period beginning on the date of an individual’s death. As of March 26, 2014, access is limited to authorized users and recipients who qualify for certification.

A certification process was issued by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) late Friday, March 21, 2014. NTIS’s certification program for access to the DMF requires that companies, which are receiving DMF information have a permissible purpose under the new law and have processes in place to protect the data provided to them.

The permissible purposes for receipt of the restricted DMF data are as follows:

Legitimate fraud prevention interest, and;
Legitimate business purpose pursuant to a law, governmental rule, regulation, or fiduciary duty

IRBsearch is working to minimize disruption of service to our customers. We will notify customers of requirements for access to the restricted components of the DMF shortly.

Please be aware that there will be an impact on the currency of the deceased data you receive until you qualify for access under the NTIS program. If you do not qualify, then the deceased-records data you receive will exclude any DMF data for individuals with a date of death after March 26, 2014. Those records will remain unavailable for a period of three years from the date of the individual’s death, after which time they will be made available to you.

Until and unless you qualify to receive DMF reported deaths you won’t see that for deaths within the past 3 years. There are other sources for confirmation of death that the databases will still use but these are spotty.

How has this altered what you do to verify whether someone has died and where?

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