How Social Security Shares Data to Help You
Last Updated: April 10, 2017
Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey — when you’re born, start working, get married, become disabled, lose a loved one, and when you retire. At every stage, we strive to make your interaction with us as seamless as possible. One way we do that is through our data exchange programs. Data exchange happens when Social Security electronically obtains or shares personal information about someone with another government or private entity. This only happens when it’s legally permitted, technologically secure, and in accordance with your individual privacy rights.
Our data exchanges begin at birth when Social Security receives your name, date of birth, and parents’ names from states so we can provide a new social security number for a baby. This allows Social Security to create your first Social Security record.
Our data exchanges continue when you take your driving test or request an identification card with a department of motor vehicles (DMV). Our exchanges allow the DMV to verify your Social Security number to issue a government document or register you to vote. When you get your first job, employers use the Social Security verification service to verify your information before submitting your wage reports to Social Security. This ensures we can accurately track your earnings over your lifetime to secure your retirement, disability, and survivors coverage.
If you become disabled and eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, we share your data with other federal agencies to help you get additional benefits, such as those from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, if you’re a veteran. If you served in the military, we obtain a veteran’s status as a wounded warrior to expedite your disability claim with Social Security. We also provide disability status to the U.S. Department of Education for potential student loan forgiveness.
After a person’s death, Social Security gathers death information from states, and other federal agencies through data exchange to support their loved ones and provide final death benefits.
Data exchanges facilitate Social Security’s efficient administration of our programs while saving tax payers’ money. You can find more information about Social Security data exchange programs at www.ssa.gov/dataexchange.