Were the data on Social Security card applications verified? Expert answers for your genealogical questions.
Were the data on Social Security card applications verified?
A: When Social Security cards were first issued in November 1936, the massive task of enrolling the nation’s workforce fell to employers, labor unions and the US Postal Service. Employees completed an SS-5 form that included much genealogically useful data, but they weren’t required to present any proof of birth date, birthplace or parents’ names. Such documentation wasn’t required until a worker applied for retirement benefits; because many retirees were born before states began keeping vital records, this requirement created the need for “delayed birth certificates” in many states.