Date: April 11, 2017
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Reports
S. 218, the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act of 2017
On March 15, 2017, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs reported S. 218, the Social Security Fraud Prevention Act of 20171, with an amendment, by voice vote. The bill would restrict the inclusion of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on documents sent by mail by the Federal Government. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
S. 218, as amended, includes the following provisions of interest to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Restriction of SSNs on Documents Sent by Mail
- Would provide that no department or agency of the Federal Government may include SSNs on documents sent by mail unless the head of that department or agency determines inclusion of the number is necessary.
- Would require each department and agency head to issue regulations, not later than 1 year after enactment, specifying the circumstances under which inclusion of the SSN is necessary on a mailed document. These regulations would include:
- instructions for partial redaction of the SSN where feasible;
- a requirement that the SSN not be visible on the outside of any mail; and
- additional methods to mitigate the risk of the improper use of SSNs when the use of such numbers is necessary.
Would be effective for documents sent by mail on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment.