Recent Blog Posts

bpl postcard
The Value of Open Public Records
Records and Repositories
Rate this blog entry:
0
10849762 815727755140585 6825543623968073505 n
MGC's NERGC Panel on Open Records: Citizens Can Make a Difference
General Legislation
Rate this blog entry:
0
b2ap3_thumbnail_3560856061_20a83080d0_z.jpg
How many deaths before the SSDI gets updated again?
Legislation Federal
Rate this blog entry:

MGC Blog Tag Cloud

Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) Sharon Sergeant SSA Records Access Henning Jacobson outreach Social Security Administration Harold Henderson Thomas MacEntee Ethnicity Jan Alpert DMF Melinde Byrne funding Kenneth Ryesky Rep. Sam Johnson (TX) Massachusetts APG Roundtable ISJGS Jan Meisels Allen New Jersey IGS Public Records State Library civil records War of 1812 Advocacy SSDI FamilySearch HR6205 Sponsors Tennessee NAPHSIS access Arkansas HR3475 Ancestry NERGC Legal Genealogist MGC sysoon Bruce Cohen Jacobson v Massachusetts Donna Holt Siemiatoski FGS HR 295 Society Showcase records access Richard Nugent Federal New Hampshire Vital Records public access FGS Conference Programs Pennsylvania IAJGS Advocacy Annual Meeting NEHGS Lou Szucs DMF; SSDI; Tax Fraud; legislation Senate APG budget cuts Elections threats to access land records Linda McCleary humane Mary Ellen Grogran Alfred DeMaria Virginia Annual Meeting and Seminar diagnosis Fred Moss New Hampshire records access Michael J. Astrue State House seminar 2014 Seminar mail forwarding Georgia Public Records archives S3432 2012 Seminar FOIA Open Access family medical history Kate Auspitz inheritable disease Teresa Scott fraud Oklahoma IAJGS Civil Records NGS Helen Shaw SSA award Annual Seminar SSDI NFOIC volunteers introduction S-1534 closures David Rencher Transparency Billie Fogarty Legislative Stan Nyberg communication Massachusetts threats to access Instruction open access DMF Education HR295 RPAC medical pedigree Georgia State legislation volunteerism Barbara Mathews family traits Arkansas Annual Seminar RPAC Speakers medical profile Virginia Access 2012 Registration Georgia Archives Rhode Island Genealogy online registration Tax Fraud Richard McCoy blog Alvie Davidson Congress Judy Russell Presenters records access Congress smallpox Identity Theft health history Rep. Richard Nugent (FL) Free Health pedigree legislators HR3475 identity fraud Presidential Citation legislation Records Access budget DPH Death Master File Randy Seaver State archives Delaware Jan Meisels Allen S1534 legislation legislation FGS Newsletter IRS TIGTA audit Tennessee pensions Lame Duck Vendors

SUPPORT MGC Today!

(Online donations available
after website update in 2016.)
 
MGC has been recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Gifts of support are fully tax-deductible and donors will receive a written acknowledgement for tax purposes.

MGC Sentinel logo MGC Sentinel Logo

MGC Sentinel

Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

New Legislation Would Close the SSDI for 2 Years

Posted by on in Legislation Federal
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 109534
  • 4 Comments
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

dog-days-of-summer

Blog Posting from Sharon Sergeant, member of the Civil Records Committee:

It might be the dog days of summer, and the last few months of the current two-year Congressional session, but we are still seeing new legislation being introduced. The latest, sponsored by Rep. Richard Nugent of Florida, condenses previous bills that included closure of the Social Security Death Index (Death Master File or DMF) into a new bill, H.R. 6205. It was introduced on July 26th and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The full text of the new bill can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr6205ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr6205ih.pdf or http://tinyurl.com/8uq9kos  The head of the Senate committee dealing with this issue also filed a new bill, S. 3432, which you can read at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2012reports/201242080fr.html

These bills have the least restrictive wording on closure of the Death Master File. The DMF (which genealogists know as the SSDI) would be closed for two years. During those two years, according to the House bill's Section 7 (a) [Senate Section 9 (a)], some people can be certified to see the information. Section 7 (b) states that, “A person shall not be certified…unless the Secretary [of the Social Security Administration] determines that a person has a legitimate fraud prevention interest...” Section 7 (c) provides a fine of $1,000 if a certified person uses DMF information for any reason other than to prevent fraud. If that person discloses information about many deaths, the fine can go no higher than $50,000 per year.

The bad news about HR6205 is the idea that the DMF/SSDI needs to be closed to anyone other than those with a certified need. Without regard to garden variety genealogists - certifying medical researchers, social workers, historians, sociologists, employers, heir/unclaimed property/unclaimed body/soldier repatriation/provenance researchers, insurance and pension plan companies, credit bureaus, financial institutions, debtor searchers, etc., would be a bureaucratic nightmare.

The good news about HR6205 is that there is at least a beginning to examine the electronic filing process by which you can pick a social security number out of the air, jury rig the numbers and have a refund transferred to an anonymous prepaid card — and many other schemes well documented in other press articles — in Florida in particular.

Photo credit: Capitol Architect, U.S. Government,
Permalink http://www.flickr.com/photos/uscapitol/7691889758/in/photostream

Updated to include Senate bill S. 34332.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
Barbara serves as the Federal Records Director. She is a Board-certified genealogist who works for the Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America as a Verifying Genealogist and for the Welles Family Association as a Genealogist. Her volunteer service includes a stint as President of MGC. She holds a master’s degree in the management of non-profits from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University. You can read her own blog, The Demanding Genealogist, at blog.demandinggenealogist.com.

Comments

  • Guest
    Alvie L. Davidson CG Monday, 06 August 2012

    Is all this mumbo-jumbo going to keep out hackers?

  • Barbara Mathews
    Barbara Mathews Monday, 06 August 2012

    Our next step is given at the end of our next blog posting on the extent of the tax fraud. It is time for those personally affected to ask their own reps and senators to speak on their behalf.

  • Barbara Mathews
    Barbara Mathews Monday, 06 August 2012

    Ancestry.com already modified the file that we use to eliminate those numbers voluntarily. Unfortunately, with the date and location of birth, social security numbers prior to July of last year can be mathematically calculated. It is unclear from the beginning to what limited extent the SSDI was used for this fraud. Many of these numbers are gained by buying them from people working at places where they are used, such as hospitals. Medicare cards, for example, use them.

    Also, social security numbers are a part of identifying the correct John Smith in some types of investigative work. Some investigators will need the SS-5 to determine if the record applies to the person they are researching. It takes a lot of work to find next-of-kin in some DOD cases.

    For just finding more data on your own family members, the loss of the social security number is probably fine. Your point is well taken.

  • Guest
    Debra Newton-Carter Monday, 06 August 2012

    Since it's the information linked to the name which genealogists search for, the Social Security Number need not be attached if they are that concerned with fraud. It seems to me that they could block the SS# and release the vital information. I think you're correct in your estimation of the extent of bureaucratic red tape that would be created by demanding searchers to be certified. Do you know what is being done, or what can be done by genealogical societies to advocate for a modified disclosure?

Leave your comment

Guest
Guest Saturday, 30 July 2016