Saturday, April 19, 2008

Social Security Death Index - getting an SS5 application

Did you know that you could write to the Social Security Administration and request the application that your family member submitted to Social Security Administration in order to receive a Social Security card?

All you need is your family member's Social Security number. If s/he is listed in the Social Security Death Index on Rootsweb - at - you can click on a link to have a letter written for you with all of the correct information.

For instance, I put my grandfather's name, Lyle Carringer, into the SSDI blanks on Rootsweb, and under the Tools heading is a link called "SS-5 Letter." I clicked on that and the following letter was generated by the site:

Date of request: 19 Apr 2008

Social Security Administration
OEO FOIA Workgroup
300 N. Green Street
P.O. Box 33022
Baltimore, Maryland 21290-3022

Please send me a photocopy of the actual application for a Social Security card (Form SS-5--Social Security Number Record Third Party Request for Photocopy) filed by the person listed below.

I obtained this information from the Social Security Death Master file at, Inc. who obtained it from the Social Security Death Master file, originally compiled by the Social Security Administration.

My understanding is that the fee is $27, when the Social Security number is provided or $29 if the Social Security number is unknown or incorrect. Enclosed is a check or money order for $___________, made payable to the Social Security Administration.

Thank you for your assistance.

Birth: 02 Nov 1891
Death: Nov 1976


Daytime Phone Number:


You could print this letter off from the web site and hand write in the information, or copy and paste it into a word processing file and fill in the blanks, save it and print it off, sign it, write a check and put it in the mail.

Even if your person is not in the SSDI, you can copy the letter above, or create the letter on your word processor, and substitute what you know about your person in the letter - if you know their SS number.

It's really very easy to do. I'm amazed by how few people do it.

1 comment:

Taneya said...

I have done this for maybe three people in my family tree and each time it has proven very valuable.