Social Security Tips

submitted by Doris Slaughter
This piece is written to answer the Social Security Records question. The Social Security records are accessible to the genealogists through a series of steps, but the "privacy rights" prohibits the administration from giving information on living person with the exception that a person can get information on their own record. The Social Security Death index lists only persons who died and their survivor filed for death benefit. With a SS number from the index or from personal paper the next step can be taken, send for the SS-5 form. This form was filled out by the applicant when he/she requested a SS number. It has the applicant full name, address, name of employer and address, age, birth date and place, Father's full name, Mother's maiden name, date of application and applicant signature. This is PRIMARY EVIDENCE because this was filled out by the applicant. Send $7.00, person's name, SS number and a request for the SS-5 form to: Freedom of Information Officer, Social Security Administration, 4-H-8 Annex, 6401 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21235. It can take up to 3 months to get a responds.

I have used this source more than once. I got my Grandfather's SS number from my Mother's papers and others I found their numbers on the death index which I used to sent for SS-5 form. One example is unusual, but rewarding. I had a Cecil Graham of Wyoming County, WV that I was gathering information on when I found his marriage record, but his wife, Manda Shrewsbury, did not list her parents. I looked on the death index and found a Manda Graham born and died in WV so I took a change and used the SS number to sent for SS-5 form. Well I got a bonus because her benefit was based up her husband and they sent me both forms. On these forms were her parents including her Mother's maiden name and his listed information that verified what I had.

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