Security Death Index:
The SSA sends one of two documents. The first is a photo-reproduction from microfilm of the original application. It contains the person's name, date and place of birth, and parents' names, as they were given when the person applied for the number. The second is referred to as a Numident printout, which is sent if the microfilm is no longer available. This printout may not contain all the information you would get in the original application.
Often the SSA will block out parents' names in these documents, as the parents may still be living and the SSA wishes to protect privacy rights. If, however, you can provide proof of death for the parents along with information sufficient to link the deceased, then the SSA will disclose their names. Researchers may want to proactively provide this proof in the initial SS-5 request.
To obtain this information, you will need to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the SSA.
RootsWeb has made the process easy for you. After completing a search, you will find a link in the "Tools" column labeled "SS-5 letter." By clicking on the link, you will find a form letter with the name, Social Security Number, and pertinent dates from the Death Index already filled in. You will need to do the following before mailing the request to the SSA:
It may take up to six months to receive a report, so please be patient. RootsWeb has no way to expedite your order, or to determine when it will be sent.
The SSA may have records on persons not listed in the SSDI. To request information on those not listed, follow the process outlined above. Requests should be sent to:
Social Security Administration
The SSA did not begin keeping records until 1936; no records exist for people who died before then.
The SSA will not release information on living persons without their consent.