Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee Hearing on Social Security Death Index (SSDI) #general

Jan Meisels Allen

The Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and
Economic Growth scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, March 20, at 10:00 AM
(EDT). The title of the hearing is : "Tax Fraud by Identity Theft, Part 2:
Status, Progress, and Potential Solutions." Part of the hearing involves SB
1534, one of the four bills introduced in Congress (reported on this forum
in December) which if enacted, would limit access to the SSDI. (The Social
Security Death Index (SSDI) is the commercial version of the Death Master
File (DMF). See this website for information and for watching the hearing
live on video streaming:
original url:

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) is the subcommittee chairman, main author of SB
1534 (co-sponsor is Senator Richard Durbin D-IL) and will be giving a
member statement. To read the bill go to:
original url:

Once again the genealogical community has not been invited to testify.
Those testifying include Chairman Nelson, Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID)
and representatives >from the Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department,
National Taxpayer Advocate, Tampa Police Department, Intuit and National
Branded Credit Card Association.

The hearing is a fact-finding hearing, and it is not expected that any
action will be taken at this time. Briefly, the bill addresses tax fraud
and establishes penalties, and user id numbers for those who file about
identity fraud . Section 9 (page 6) restricts access to the Death Master
File for the calendar year of the person's death and the calendar year
following, disclosure of information on a deceased person listed in the DMF
is prohibited unless they are certified. Certification would be done
through the Secretary of Commerce and only to those who have a legitimate
fraud prevention interest. The Social Security Administration would not be
compelled to disclose any person in the DMF that is not certified.
(The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is the commercial version of the
Death Master File (DMF).

IAJGS is in contact with the Senator Nelson's staff who also are the
subcommittee staff, and has offered our assistance and shared the IAJGS
statement on SSDI that was submitted in February to the House Ways and Means
Subcommittee on Social Security.

When more information is available it will be posted to this forum.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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