28 January 2012

Do you appreciate the SSDI?

What family historians call the Social Security Death Index has been under assault from a number of directions in recent weeks. Now it's the subject of a hearing that may jeopardize our access to it or access as we have known it.

"U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security announced today that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the accuracy and uses of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File.  The hearing will take place on Thursday, February 2, 2012 in B-318 Rayburn House Office Building, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only.  However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Subcommittee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing."

Check out the full details here and make sure your voice is heard:

I have used the SSDI in many ways. These include sorting out land ownership issues, researching enrollment issues for sovereign American Indian tribes, locating details needed in court cases, establishing ancestry in matters of medical issues, and many other ways. Would a big change affect my business? Definitely. Would it affect the business and personal matters of my clients? Definitely. One of the things I don't understand about the "threat" of identity theft is why banks, credit card issuers, employers, insurance companies, and others don't simply verify Social Security numbers against the SSDI (Social Security Death Master File) to see if the number is listed there.


labbie1 said...

Oh dear! This is NOT GOOD!!!! Keep us up to date on this will you?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, why do you need the social security numbers of newly deceased children? If you can provide a cogent argument that outweighs the privacy interests and security of the families impacted, then more power to you.

And please do not argue that the publication of this information on genealogical websites is not providing thieves with the "holy trinity" of information to commit crimes.

Honestly, the genealogical community can do without the social security numbers of americans who die within the last 5 years. Let the list be used to actually combat fraud instead of allow it.