FOIA Request Methods and Fees

Request a copy of Deceased Person’s Original Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5) or Numident Record

You can make a request for a copy of a deceased person’s original Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5) and/or Numident record (a computer extract of the SS-5) in two ways:

Fees

We will not process your request without exact payment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Diner’s Club. If paying by credit card and mailing your request, please use the SSA-714. Be sure to include your credit card number and expiration date. We also accept checks or money orders payable to SSA:

  • SS-5: $24.00. If you require certification, there is an additional $10.00 fee.
  • Numident: $22.00. If you require certification, there is an additional $10.00 fee.

Extreme Age Policy – Number Holder

We will not disclose information about any person in our records unless: 1) the number holder has provided written consent or we have acceptable proof of his or her death; or 2) the number holder is at least 100 years old and we have acceptable proof of his or her death; or 3) the number holder is more than 120 years old.

Extreme Age Policy – Number Holder’s Parents

We do not release the parents’ names unless: 1) we have the parents’ written consent or acceptable proof of death for the parents; or 2) the number holder is at least 100 years old and we have acceptable proof of his or her death; or 3) the number holder is more than 120 years old.

Acceptable proofs of death include:

  • a copy of a public record of death; or
  • a statement of death from a funeral director; or
  • a statement of death by the attending physician or the superintendent, physician, or intern of the institution where the person died; or
  • a copy of the coroner’s report of death or the verdict of the coroner’s jury; or
  • a copy of an official report of death or finding of death made by an agency or department of the U.S. which is authorized or required to make such a report or finding in the administration of any law of the U.S.; or
  • an obituary with sufficient identifying information

We are not always notified of an individual's death, so it may be helpful if you send proof of death with your request. It may also be helpful if you provide proofs of the parents’ deaths with your request, as well.

How to Request Agency Records Under the FOIA

If you would like to make an online FOIA request for records other than a photocopy of an SS-5 or a Numident, please make your request online using the FOIAonline

How Do I Get This Information?

  1. Complete the FOIAonline request to tell us what information you want. Please note that the eForm limits space to 2000 characters.
  2. Complete the requester’s information.

Is There A Fee For This Information?

  • We will let you know if there is a fee for the requested information before we start a search. We base the FOIA fees on the grade of the employees doing the work and the time we spend on your request, plus 10 cents per page for photocopying. You cannot pay this fee online.

Make an Online Request for Other SSA Records

REMINDER: If you would like to request a copy of your own record, please view instructions available at How to Request Your Own Record. If you would like to request a copy of a deceased person’s record, please view the instructions available at How to Request a Deceased Person’s Records.

Fees for Frequently Requested Records

The fee schedule below covers requests for records of Social Security number (SSN) holders, claimants, and wage earners.

Many numident records of individuals born in 1910 or earlier are abbreviated records that do not contain the names of the individual’s parents and may not contain the place of birth.

We did not begin keeping records until November 1936.

We cannot search for the SSN of anyone born before 1865.

Fees For Processing Requests For Individual’s Social Security Record

$24

Request for copy of Original Application for Social Security Card (Form SS-5), (Printout from microfilm)

$22

Request for Computer Extract of Social Security Number Application, (*Numident only requested)

$16

Search for Information about Death of an Individual, SSN Provided (SSA does not usually have place of death, burial, or cause of death)

$18

Search for Information about Death of an Individual, SSN Not Provided (SSA does not usually have place of death, burial, or cause of death)

*

As of May 19, 2014, we discontinued Letter Forwarding services.

Fees for Other SSA Record Requests

There may be a fee for information you requested. We will let you know if your request will cost more than $250 before we start a search. We base the FOIA fees on the grade of the employees doing the work and the amount of time we spend on your request, plus 10 cents per page for photocopying.

The Hourly Fees for Search and Review Are:

Search by Grade:

GS-1 through GS-8

$16.00

GS-9 through GS-14

$33.00

GS-15 or above

$59.00

Mail In FOIA Requests

It is easy to make a written FOIA request by mail.  You do not need a form.  We process FOIA requests in two locations, depending on the type of request.  Mark both the envelope and its contents:  “FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST” or “INFORMATION REQUEST.”  Be sure to include your name and address on your request.  It is a good idea to include a daytime phone number or e-mail address in case we need to contact you about your request.  Do not include a return envelope.

Mail your request to:

Social Security Administration
Office of Privacy and Disclosure
G-401 WHR
6401 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Please use Form SSA-711 to request a deceased person’s SS-5; however this form is not required. You may also mail your request to:

Social Security Administration
OEIO FOIA Workgroup
6100 Wabash Ave.
P.O. Box 33022
Baltimore, Maryland 21290-3022

Please use Form SSA-714 to pay by credit card.

Make checks or money orders payable to the Social Security Administration.

DO NOT SEND CASH