What Employers Can Check
A background check can range from a simple verification of your Social Security number to a much more thorough check into your history.
An employer might check on information such as your work history, , driving records, criminal records, vehicle registration, court records, compensation, bankruptcy, medical records, references, property ownership, drug test results, military records, and sex offender information.
Employers can also conduct a character check, which might involve speaking with your personal acquaintances, including friends and neighbors.
Generally, the information they check will be related to the job. For example, if you are hired to work in a bank, it would be reasonable for the employer to check whether you have a history of embezzlement or theft.
The extensiveness of a background check depends on the employer, company, and the job involved. For example, if you are applying for a government job with a high security clearance, you will likely undergo a very thorough background check.
Handling Social Security Numbers
Because of the sensitive nature of Social Security numbers, it is very important that you have a process for protecting and, when necessary, disposing of this information. Documents containing this information should be segregated from less sensitive paperwork and access to these documents should be granted only on a “need to have” basis.
For example, you may wish to restrict access to these documents to senior human resources workers. Meanwhile, hiring managers and administrative staff who may request and collect these documents should be provided with the process for keeping them secure until they are turned over to human resources. In addition, there should also be a process for destroying documents with sensitive employee information after it is no longer necessary to keep these documents on file.
Why Would A Family Member Need Your Social Security Number
The first step in guaranteeing crucial protection for any benefits your kid may be entitled for in the future is to get their Social Security number. To declare your kid as a dependant on your income tax return or to establish a bank account in the childs name and purchase savings bonds, youll need their Social Security number.
Conducting A Background Check
Another situation in which you may need to request a Social Security number from a job candidate is when you are completing a background check. Many employers opt to contract with a third-party firm that specializes in this kind of research. In most cases, the firm will request the Social Security number of the applicant so that it can perform a in addition to other investigations, which may include a review of any arrest or conviction records, as well as reference verification.
Federal law requires that you notify the applicant of your plans to perform a background check in a separate document from a job application or other forms. In addition, you will also need to obtain written permission from the applicant.Your background check provider may supply you with these forms, which will typically ask for personal information from applicants, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, names of previous employers and, in some cases, home addresses for the past several years.
Should Your Company Ask For Social Security Numbers
Again, the answer depends on your companys hiring policy, and may come down to a simple pros and cons assessment. For example, some benefits to asking for an SSN may include:
- The ability to check right away that a candidates application information matches their identity
- The ability to run more thorough background checks and screenings
- Improved efficiency during the application and hiring process
- Time saved down the line when you may require more information from a qualified candidate
On the other hand, there may be some down sides to asking candidates for their SSN on job applications, including:
- Increased responsibility to protect their sensitive information
- Changing internal processes to collect and store applications
- Making candidates feel uncomfortable about providing personal and sensitive information that could be compromised
Through the lens of a CRA like GoodHire, its in the best interest for companies to ask for SSNs to perform an Identity Verification. This acts as an added layer of security and protection from:
- Hiring a dishonest candidate who isnt who they say they are
- Denying a job offer to a candidate whose SSN doesnt match or because of a failed background screening
- Mitigate risk to your business
However, depending on your hiring process, you may determine that an SSN isnt needed on the job application itself, but further down the line in the screening and hiring process.
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Why Should A Background Check Include Social Security Number Verification
Using SSNs ensures you dont miss criminal records associated with an individuals former name or aliases. The address history supplied with the check opens the door to more thorough background check processes, letting you know where to look to examine local records. Simultaneously, using SSNs helps you verify that youre looking at records for the correct individual.
Why Does The Bank Need My Social Security Number
Your SSN is used by banks to assess your credit report and to provide information to the IRS about your interest and investment income/losses. Your SSN is also used by banks to report tax-deductible mortgage interest to the IRS and manage your account. The majority of banks will want your social security number.
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Do Employers Need Ssn For Background Check
Employers should generally ask applicants for their social security number s should request a SSN from an applicant only when absolutely necessary. In conducting a background check prior to offering an employee a position, an employer may collect an SSN instead of an employment application when conducting a background check.
What Information Can Be Found With A Social Security Number
Companies require you to provide your social security number since it is a quick and convenient method for identifying you. Due to this, your social security number can now reveal a lot of personal information regarding you, such as your past living arrangements, credit history, and possibly even your health status.
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Do Background Checks Require Social Security Number
A SSN is not required for criminal background checks. Name, date of birth, and address are all used to find them. If the applicant possesses a Social Security number, it should be utilized to assist correctly identify him or her before the searches are conducted. A criminal records search, on the other hand, does not need the SSN.
Similarly, Why do background checks ask for Social Security Number?
Background screening requires a Social Security Number , which is used to authenticate identification, obtain address history, and serve as an identifier
Also, it is asked, Who is allowed to ask for Social Security numbers?
Anyone may refuse to offer their phone number, but if you dont, the requester can decline to utilize your services. Businesses, banks, schools, private agencies, and other organizations are permitted to get a persons phone number and use it for any reason that does not violate federal or state law.
Secondly, Is it normal for a job application to ask for SSN?
Is it legal to inquire for Social Security numbers on job applications? Employers are permitted to request Social Security numbers on employment applications. Candidates, on the other hand, are not compelled to submit it if they are uncomfortable doing so.
Also, Can you be hired without a SSN?
People also ask, What can someone do with the last 4 digits of your SSN?
Related Questions and Answers
Is It Legal To Ask For Social Security Numbers On Job Applications
It is legal for employers to ask for SSNs on job applications. However, candidates are not obligated to provide it if they feel uncomfortable. In this instance, candidates who are uncertain about providing their SSN may ask why its needed, how it will be used, and what measures are being taken internally to protect their sensitive information. As the employer, you should be prepared to address these concerns.
Candidates may also want to do their due diligence in researching employers to ensure theyre legitimate. And, due to an increase in remote onboarding, both candidates and employers should take extra precautions when disclosing and handling sensitive information. One way to do this? Send applications and sensitive documents through a secure online platform vs email.
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Can I Use Itin Number Instead Of Ssn
During tax season, nine-digit ITINs are used to replace social security numbers when preparing income taxes and claiming various tax credits . Children living in the United States or legally residing in the United States). Easily check with a government database to ensure that your Social Security number is valid with your employer.
Ssn Verification + Address History
The SSN Verification also provides an address history for your applicant.
The best practices mentioned in this Address History Infographic, explain why you want to retrieve address history on your applicant. The most important of which is to drive public record searches for civil and criminal history.
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It Helps Analysts Garner More Complete Background Investigations
A SSN trace helps screening analysts compile a more complete background investigation. When analysts have more information about other name changes, and multiple addresses for a candidate, they can work with the hiring organization to determine what additional database or other searches may need to be performed. For example, if a candidates SSN trace reveals a SSN issuance date that conflicts with the date of birth provided by the candidate, a screening analyst can take action to verify information provided by the candidate and explore other possible causes for the discrepancy.
Ssn Trace And Address Search
Included in the US AliasSEARCH is an SSN trace service that can help employers uncover address history information based on data held by the Social Security administration. Employers who run address history checks can improve their confidence level while also expanding the scope of the records they review. A best practice is to check county-level criminal records in the locations an applicant has lived going back for the last seven years. An SSN trace helps you find that information.
It Can Uncover Fraudulent And Illegal Activity
Conducting a SSN trace can uncover fraudulent and illegal acts. It can reveal individuals who may be using someone elses SSN to hide criminal activity, a revoked or suspended license, or other sanctions barring them from working in your industry. That kind of fraud may be more common than you think. Some cybersecurity experts believe that most SSNs have been exposed on the dark web or compromised in some way. Conducting a SSN trace is a good way to uncover instances of inappropriate use of a SSN, such as:
- A fake SSN that has never been issued
- A SSN that belongs to a deceased individual
- A SSN that has been used by multiple people
When Can Employers Ask For Your Social Security Number
Employers are permitted to ask applicants for their Social Security numbers in all states. Several states, including New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, require employers to put safeguards like encryption in place to protect the privacy of job seekers.
However, the Society for Human Resource Management advises employers to request Social Security numbers only when absolutely necessary. In practice, this means that many employers may choose to delay the request until later in the process.
Check with your State Department of Labor to learn about any restrictions for local employers requesting your Social Security number.
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What Is A Social Security Number
A social security number is a nine-digit number that is issued by the US government to all US citizens and eligible residents.
An SSN is used by the government to keep track of your earnings, how long you have worked, and any benefits you might be entitled to.
Once you are issued with an SSN, you will use it for life. The only exception to this is if you fall victim to identity theft when the government may, in some circumstances, agree to issue you with a new one.
In more recent times, your SSN has become an integral part of accessing a whole host of other services including obtaining credit, opening a bank account, obtaining private insurance, buying a home or a car, and much more.
One important point to note is that a persons SSN is not a matter of public record. While some peoples SSN will show up on a background check, it will not have been sourced from any public database.
How Long Does Ssn Trace Take
When does a Social Security Trace take place? ? One working day is usually all that is required for a social security search. In most cases, results appear after a few hours after an applicant’s details have been entered into the system.
There is no need for a SSN for criminal background checks. Name, date of birth, and address are used to search for them. It is always a good idea to use a social security number to assist with properly identifying an applicant before running searches on him/her. However, a criminal record search does not require a Social Security number.
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It Can Generate A More Complete Address History And Expose Gaps
Candidates completing background check authorizations may intentionally or unintentionally neglect to include all historical addresses. A SSN trace fills in the blanks by generating a list of a candidates current and past addresses. In some cases, that list may be more complete than what was provided by the candidate. Having a more complete address history for a candidate allows background screeners to determine if it makes sense to conduct a criminal records search for additional locations beyond the candidates current county of residence. A SSN trace can also reveal gaps in a candidates address history, which may require additional research.
Employee’s Social Security Number
You are required to get each employee’s name and Social Security number and to enter them on Form W-2 . If your employee does not have their social security card readily available, then the Social Security Administration offers Social Security number verification and quick access to relevant forms and publications.
Do not accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and nonresident aliens who are not eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes. You can identify an ITIN because it is a 9-digit number that begins with the number “9” and is formatted like an SSN .
Note: An individual with an ITIN who later becomes eligible to work in the United States must obtain an SSN.
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Denial Due To Discrimination
In some instances, an employers use of an individuals background report information can lead to illegal discrimination. For example, employers shouldnt use a background report policy or practice that
- excludes people with certain criminal records if it significantly disadvantages one group of individuals compared to another group, based on race, national origin, or other protected characteristics covered by state or federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination and
- does not accurately predict who will be a responsible, reliable, or safe employee.
In legal terms, an employer cannot have a policy or practice that has a disparate impact on a particular group, unless theres a job-related reason and its consistent with business necessity.
If you think an employer discriminated against you during the background check process, you may contact the EEOC by visiting its website at eeoc.gov or by calling 1-800-669-4000, or 1-800-669-6820 . The EEOC enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the persons race, color, religion, sex , national origin, age , disability, or genetic information, or in retaliation for a persons involvement in prior activities protected by federal employment discrimination laws. The EEOC investigates, conciliates, and mediates charges of employment discrimination and, in some instances, files lawsuits in the public interest.
It Can Reveal Previous Name Changes Expanding Criminal History Searches
A SSN trace identifies individuals who have used different names in the past, an occurrence that isnt all that uncommon. According to one estimate, up to 50,000 people change their name each year, for a host of reasons, including to correct a birth certificate error, as a result of adoption, or to anglicize a name after moving to the US from a different country. A SSN trace can reveal maiden names, and it can uncover individuals who changed their name to conceal a previous identity and individuals who use multiple aliases. Understanding the various names for an individual can expand criminal history searches and aid verifications for employment, education, and professional licenses.
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How Can I Make Money Without Ssn
While most companies need a social security number, you may supplement your income by doing odd jobs such as mowing lawns, babysitting, shoveling snow, walking pets, or doing minor repairs. Distribute fliers across your community to promote your service. You might also ask your friends and relatives whether theyd be willing to employ you for odd tasks.