Casefile Clues

14 December 2012

The SS-5 Form


The SS-5 form is the form a person fills out to apply for a United States social security number. These forms are available for deceased individuals and can be obtained from the Social Security Administration. They can be an excellent genealogical source--depending upon the person and the family situation. The person does not have to be in the SSDI (Social Security Death Index)  in order for a researcher to obtain a copy of the SS-5 form. The person does have to be deceased to obtain a copy of the card.

Anyone who had a Social Security Number completed an SS-5 form  or had one completed for them.

It is easier (read: cheaper)  to obtain the form if you have the person's social security number. This can be obtained from the Social Security Death Index, the person's death certificate, or other sources. You can request an SS-5 form from the Social Secutiry Administration (link below) if you know the person is dead,but you don't have the social security number.

While the SS-5 form contains some of the same information as is on the death certificate, it is important to remember that most people filled out their own SS-5 form. Most people usually don't fill out their own death certificate. In some cases, the SS-5 form may contain information previously unknown.

The form on the page is for my wife's grandmother. The father's name listed on this form is different from the name of the father listed on her death certificate. In this case, it was a significant clue.

You can easily search the index via the link below-- or you can search  the Social Security Death Index at Genealogy Bank. Their version of the SSDI is the most current and is free.

Getting the SS-5 Application
SS5 form for Anna Margaret Lake

Redactions:

Thanks to Judy G. Russell for reminding me about the redactions in the SS-5 forms. The SSA is redacting names of parents unless you can show they are deceased or the applicant on the SS-5 form was born over 120 years ago. Yes--that does mean the parents are completely and totally dead. More information is here on the SSA site. 

From the SSA website:


Fees For Processing Requests For Individual’s Social Security Record
$27
Request for copy of Original Application for Social Security Card (Form SS-5), SSN Provided (Printout from microfilm)
$29
Request for copy of Original Application for Social Security Card (Form SS-5), SSN Not Provided (Printout from microfilm)
$16
Request for Computer Extract of Social Security Number Application, SSN Provided  (*Numident only requested)
$18
Request for Computer Extract of Social Security Number Application,SSN Not Provided (*Numident only requested)
$16
Search for Information about Death of an Individual, SSN Provided (SSA does not usually have place of death, burial, or cause of death)
$18
Search for Information about Death of an Individual, SSN Not Provided(SSA does not usually have place of death, burial, or cause of death)
$25
Forward a letter to inform a person about entitlement to money
[note: this image is (c) 2012 Michael John Neill--any use requires permission]