SSDI and SS-5 Question

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SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby JJOC1414 » 28 May 2008, 23:38

I understand that not all deceased persons show up in the SSDI, for a variety of reasons. I also understand that SSA will not fulfill a request for the SS-5 application if a person is still living, without the written consent of that person.

Here's what I don't understand. After numerous searches for a person in the SSDI using every name variation I could think of, I got no matches. Not knowing if the person is deceased, I tried the SS-5 request as a way to verify whether the person was deceased and received a photocopy of the original application. Presumably this should tell me with certainty that the person is indeed deceased. But when I plug in the SSN given on the SS-5 application into the SSDI search engine, it still produces no matches.

What am I to learn from this? That the person is in fact deceased but doesn't appear in the SSDI because someone is collecting benefits from this account? Any other possibilites?

Many thanks.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby vj » 28 May 2008, 23:50

One possibility is that no one notified the Social Security Adminstration
of the death...
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby JJOC1414 » 29 May 2008, 09:00

vj,

Thanks, that was my guess too in the beginning, when I first started searching the SSDI, but "not being reported" seems to be contradicted by the SSA fulfilling my request for the SS-5 application. Doesn't it?

I mean, according to their own rules, an SS-5 can only be given when the SSA knows with certainty that a person is deceased (except, as I said, when a living person has given consent). So, shouldn't this mean that someone did report it at one time? That's my dilemma!

There must be another reason for not appearing in the SSDI. I even thought there might have been a name change I was unaware of, but plugging in the actual SSN (obtained from the SS-5 they sent me) and getting no match, excludes that as a reason.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby FMLYGENIE » 08 Jun 2008, 20:20

For those of us who are really thick (ME! ;-) ) What does SSDI and SS-5 mean??
I have an application for both for several of my family..that I started many yrs ago and now that I am about to start it all up again I can't for the life of me remember why??
So your question came at a great time for me
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby JJOC1414 » 08 Jun 2008, 21:26

No problem!

SSDI = Social Security Death Index. It is probably the easiest way to learn about someone's death, sometimes the exact date, other times just the month/year. Usually it will also show the deceased's birth date and it will always indicate the state in which the deceased applied for Social Security and the period or, for later years, the exact year of application.

SS-5 = is the number of the government form used for applying for a Social Security number the first time. It is still in use today for this puropse. One can request a copy of this form for a deceased person, either as an extract or as a photocopy of the actual application (slightly more expensive). The Social Security Administration will fulfill a request only when it has confirmation that the person is deceased. If the person is living, one needs written authorization of the person whose SS-5 is being requested.

My dilemma is that I received a copy of a relative's SS-5, which by definition means the person is deceased, yet I cannot find this person listed in the SSDI, not even when I do the search based on the person's actual Social Security number. This is an apparent contradiction. On one hand the SSA knows the person is deceased, while on the other hand they don't show the same person as being deceased.

So far I've not been able to resolve this dilemma.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby Sirena » 08 Jun 2008, 23:47

The person will not appear in the SSDI if he/she has never received a Social Security (usually retirement) or Social Security Disability (SSI) check. So, if they died young or collected benefits from their spouse rather than from their own work history, you will not find the listing. Many women, especially born prior to the 1920s stayed at home and collected from their husband's account as a widow, etc.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby JJOC1414 » 09 Jun 2008, 00:17

Sirena, thank you for trying to clear this up. That may well be the answer I was lookng for. However, it does suggest to me that another relative of mine who died very young and does appear on the SSDI, that this person at some time must have received SSI disability benefits that I wasn't aware of. I need to investigate that.

Thanks again.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby Sirena » 10 Jun 2008, 01:37

She may have collected disability or, if she had children and died young, they would have received benefits under her SSN.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby ALP70 » 12 Jun 2008, 02:35

JJOC1414, how long does it take to receive a copy of the SS-5 application after you request it?
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby nuccia » 12 Jun 2008, 06:24

My Great Grandfather did not show up in the SSDI either and he had a SSN..I have his original card. I believe it may have something to do with the fact that prior to 1962-1963, SSN were not mandatory so if you had one and died before then you would not show up since no one would have registered the card/number.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby JJOC1414 » 12 Jun 2008, 11:37

ALP70,

I guess this depends mostly on how quickly they can find the record. I made request for three people, all on May 11. For one I had a SSN, the other two I didn't.

I received the first one on May 16 (without SSN) and the second one on May 17 (with SSN). Sounds very fast, but I'm still waiting for the third one!

To request a copy of the SS-5 online, you need to complete a form called Form - SSA 711. You can get to it by clicking this link:

https://s044a90.ssa.gov/apps7/efoiassa/internet/SSA711.jsp

You will see that you can order either an extract or a copy of the original application, with or without the SSN. You will need to provide, in addition to the deceased's name and date of birth, the names of both parents of the deceased, in the case of the mother both maiden and married names. Naturally, after completing the form it will ask for credit card information.

Good luck.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby JJOC1414 » 12 Jun 2008, 11:42

I believe Sirena hit the nail on the head in my case. The deceased most likely collected on her spouse's SSA account and never on her own. Thank you, that sets my mind at ease and resolves the dilemma.

Next time I'm in the US, however, I intend to visit a SSA office with a copy of the SS-5 in hand and ask them to verify the death and give me the exact date.
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Re: SSDI and SS-5 Question

Postby ALP70 » 13 Jun 2008, 02:13

Thanks for the info!

I filled out the online form about a month ago or so, and am still waiting. Might be somewhat complicated, since my relative changed his name and corrected his birthdate.
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