Social Security Numbers: Coordinated Approach to SSN Data Could Help Reduce Unauthorized Work

GAO-06-458T Published: Feb 16, 2006. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2006.
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To lawfully work in the United States, individuals must have a valid Social Security number (SSN) and, if they are not citizens, authorization to work from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Noncitizens seeking work must provide both an SSN and evidence of work authorization to their employer. Yet individuals without these required authorizations have gained employment with false information. How these instances of unauthorized work can be identified or prevented challenges the federal agencies involved. Congress asked GAO to discuss how federal agencies can better share reported earnings data to identify unauthorized work. Specifically, this testimony addresses two issues: (1) the Social Security data that could help identify unauthorized employment and (2) coordination among certain federal agencies to improve the accuracy and usefulness of such data.

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