Social Security Administration to Change How Social Security Numbers are Assigned

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is changing the way Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are issued.  This change is referred to as “randomization.”  The SSA is developing this new method to help protect the integrity of the SSN.  SSN Randomization will also extend the longevity of the nine-digit SSN nationwide.

SSN randomization will affect the SSN assignment process in the following ways:

  • It will eliminate the geographical significance of the first three digits of the SSN, currently referred to as the area number, by no longer allocating the area numbers for assignment to individuals in specific states.
  • It will eliminate the significance of the highest group number and, as a result, the High Group List will be frozen in time and can be used for validation of SSNs issued prior to the randomization implementation date.
  • Previously unassigned area numbers will be introduced for assignment excluding area numbers 000, 666 and 900-999.

The SSA plans to implement the new assignment methodology on June 25, 2011.

For details, read the Frequently Asked Questions on the SSA website.

Posted in Compliance.