Date: September 19, 2017
President Signs H.R. 624,
The Social Security Number Fraud Prevention Act of 2017
On September 15, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 624, the Social Security Number Fraud Prevention Act of 2017, which became Public Law No. 115-59. The Senate passed the bill on September 6, 2017, by unanimous consent. The bill previously passed the House with an amendment on May 24, 2017, by voice vote. The law, among other things, restricts the inclusion of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on documents sent by mail by the federal Government.
Following are provisions of interest to the Social Security Administration (SSA):
Restriction of SSNs on Documents Sent by Mail
- Provides that no agency of the Federal government may include SSNs on documents sent by mail unless the head of the agency determines inclusion of the number is necessary.
- Requires the head of each of the 24 agencies with Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), including the Social Security Administration, to issue regulations, not later than 5 years after enactment, specifying the circumstances under which inclusion of the SSN is necessary on a mailed document. These regulations must include:
- instructions for partial redaction of the SSN where feasible; and
- a requirement that the SSN not be visible on the outside of any mail.
- Requires the head of each of the 24 CFO agencies to report to Congress on implementation. The first report is due 30 days after enactment, with subsequent reports due not later than the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth anniversary of the date of enactment. Provides that:
- all reports include the title and identification number of each document with the full SSN used by the agency in the previous year;
- the first report include an implementation plan;
- the last report include the title and identification number of each document for which the agency, pursuant to the required regulations, determined inclusion of the SSN is necessary and the rationale for the determination; and
- reports other than the first and last include an update on implementation of the agency’s plan.
- Effective for documents sent by mail on or after the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment.