In March 2019 the Social Security Administration (SSA) resumed sending EDCOR notices, commonly known as "no-match" letters. SSA sends these notices to employees or employers when a name or Social Security Number (SSN) reported on Form W-2 or on self-employment reports does not match SSA's records. SSA states in SSA POMS RM 01105.027 that the purpose of the EDCOR notices is "to educate the employers about the mismatch(es) and direct them to Business Services Online (BSO) to identify the employee's information so that we can post those earnings to the correctly identified employee's ER." The SSA policy guidance then describes EDCOR notices and processes:
Text of SSA POMS RM 01105.027
TN 7 (03-19)
Effective Dates: 03/22/2019 - Present
RM 01105.027 Educational Correspondence (EDCOR) and Decentralized Correspondence (DECOR) Letters Mailed when Names and SSNs Do Not Match Our Records
During the Annual Wage Reporting Process a Form W-2, also known as a wage report, may fail to match our records because it does not have a Social Security number (SSN) or name, or the SSN or name submitted does not match information on our records. Wage reports may not match for a number of reasons. These include typographical errors, unreported name changes, and inaccurate or incomplete employer records. In these cases, SSA places the earnings information in the Earnings Suspense File (ESF) instead of posting the earnings to an employee’s earnings record (ER).
B. EDCOR Letters to Employers
In addition to the multiple Systems routines we employ to address and resolve items placed in the ESF, we mail “Employer Correction Request” letters, also known as EDCOR letters or “no match” letters, to employers. EDCOR letters inform employers that either a name or SSN they reported, or multiple names or SSNs reported, do not match SSA’s records and to submit corrected information. The purpose of the EDCOR letters is to educate the employers about the mismatch(es) and direct them to Business Services Online (BSO) to identify the employee’s information so that we can post those earnings to the correctly identified employee’s ER.
1. History of EDCOR letters
- We mailed EDCOR "Code V" letters for tax year (TY) 1993 (calendar year 1994) through TY 2005.
- We sent employers the EDCOR letters when they submitted their wage reports with more than a certain number of employee names and SSNs that we could not match to our records. (The exact criteria for sending these notices varied over the years).
- In TY 2006, we stopped sending the letters due to litigation concerning a proposed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation.
- In 2011, the Commissioner formally discontinued sending EDCOR notices.
- In 2018, SSA decided to resume sending an updated version of the EDCOR letter to employers who submitted one or more names or SSNs that did not match our records. As a result, we mailed informational letters to employers and third party providers.
- As of 2019, SSA has resumed mailing EDCOR letters.
2. EDCOR Resumption Letters
In July 2018, SSA began notifying third party payroll providers and employers submitting wage reports with one or more name and SSN combinations that did not match our records about the agency’s plans to resume mailing EDCOR letters in 2019, after the 2018 filing period.
a. Informational letters mailed were as follows:
- "Third Party Provider Notification" to the third party payroll provider and
- "Educational Correspondence (EDCOR) Announcement" to employers.
Both letters also notified employers of online services SSA offers to help ensure accurate wage reporting.
b. Employer Correction Request Letters
In March 2019, SSA began sending the EDCOR letters to employers who have one or more name and SSN combinations that do not match our records. These letters do not go to third party providers.
3. Handling EDCOR Inquiries
Field offices and National 800 Number
EDCOR letters direct recipients to contact 1-800-772-6270 (TTY 1-800 325-0778) with questions. This number belongs to the Business Services Branch (BSB) in the Office of Central Operations (OCO). The Employer Reporting Technicians (ERTs) in the BSB will receive EDCOR inquiries and follow the business process established for responding to EDCOR letter telephone calls.
Business Services Branch
All inquiries received in the Field Office or the National 800 Number regarding the EDCOR informational letters should be referred to the BSB in OCO.
For information on how to respond to inquiries from employers, please see ER 00701.020 - Employer Correction Request Notice also called Educational Correspondence (EDCOR) Notice.
C. DECOR Letters to Employees, Self-employed Workers, and Employers
SSA began sending DECOR notices in 1979 (TY 1978). These notices also constituted a type of no-match letter, like EDCOR, and informed employees (and employers when we did not have the employee’s address) about name and SSN discrepancies. Effective August 23, 2012, we suspended sending all DECOR letters for budgetary reasons. The three types of letters suspended were:
- SSA-L3365-C1 (Request to Employee for Social Security Information). This letter informed the employee about name and SSN discrepancies. We derived the address from the employee's Form W-2.
- SSA-L2765-C1 (Request for Self-Employment Information). This letter informed the employee about name and SSN discrepancies. We sent it to the self-employed employee's address derived from the data provided by the Internal Revenue Service; and
- SSA-L4002-C1 (Request for Employer Information). We sent this letter to the employer and requested information about the earnings reported for the employee earnings we placed in the Earnings Suspense File. The letter went to the employer because an employee's address was available but the address did not exist in the United States Postal Service database or an employee's address was unavailable.
D. Exhibits of the EDCOR notices
Guidance from SSA
- SSA Employer Correction Request Notices (EDCOR) page - SSA no-match FAQs, samples and instructions
- SSA POMS RM 01105.027 Educational Correspondence (EDCOR) and Decentralized Correspondence (DECOR) Letters Mailed when Names and SSNs Do Not Match Our Records
- Sample SSA Employer Correction Request Notices (EDCOR)
- National Law Review article: Received a No-Match Letter from SSA? (April 9, 2019)