Social Security Death Index

Enter a first and/or last name to search the Social Security Death Index. This website was created to provide genealogists with access to the Social Security Death Index from a single place. Additional information on about the Social Security Death Index is available below.

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The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is a list of deceased persons who had been assigned a Social Security Number.

The SSDI generally contains names of social security applicants who died after 1962. Applicants who died before 1962 may or may not be in the SSDI. Prior to 1962, the reporting of deaths to the Social Security Administration was not an automated process.

The SSDI was initially created to provide local governing agencies, banks, insurance companies, and crediting agencies with information on deceased persons, so that they could make adjustments to their records.

It has since become a popular research aid for genealogy researchers providing them with valuable information, primarily the names of an applicant's father and mother.

Researchers often discover conflicting information about an applicant's parents, when they receive a copy of the SS-5 Form. When a person dies, they often modify their identity or associate themselves with different people. Thus comparing information from SS-5 forms with that from cemeteries or other genealogy records can be startling.

To learn more about the Social Security Death Index, we suggest using Google to search for "social security death index".


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The Social Security Application Form ( Form SS-5 )

The SS-5 Form is used to apply for a Social Security Card.

Genealogists should request a copy of the SS-5 form for every deceased ancestor and relative that applied for a Social Security Number. Even though a decedent may not be listed in the SSDI, there may be very likely be an SS-5 form on file for them. The form will provide valulable genealogical information, including:

  • first, middle, and last name of the applicant
  • street address, post office, and state of residence
  • business name and address of their employer
  • date of birth, present age, and place of birth
  • father's full name
  • mother's full maiden name

    For more information about the SS-5 Form and instructions for filling out a form, please visit the SS-5 History Page.

How to Request a Copy of the SS-5 Form

Submit a written letter requesting a copy of the "SS-5 Form" to the Social Security Administration. Such requests are officially classified as a "Freedom of Information Act" (FOIA) request, and as such, must be submitted in writing, on paper, and with your signature. For additional information, visit the Social Security Administration's Guide to FOIA Requests.

  • At the top of the letter write, "Freedom of Information Request".

  • State a simple request such as, "As provided under the Freedom of Information Act, please send me an archived copy of the SS-5 Form (Application for Social Security Number) submitted by my deceased grandfather Harold William" Anderson

  • Note: it is recommended to state your relation to the applicant, as suggested in the above example.

  • If possible, provide additional information, including the applicant's date of birth and place of birth.

  • Provide your name and return address on the letter itself. Include your day time phone number and e-mail address.

  • In addition to the written letter of request, don't forget to include a personal check to cover costs (see below)

  • Do NOT include a return envelope

  • On the envelope, write the following below the address: "Freedom of Information Request".

Submit the letter with payment to:

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

Costs for Requesting a Copy of the SS-5 Form

  • $27.00 if you provide them with the applicant's Social Security Number
  • $29.00 if you do not provide them with the applicant's Social Security Number

    Make your check payable to "Social Security Administration"

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