In a recent press release, the Social Security Administration (SSA) advised employers to use its Business Services Online (BSO) Portal to correct employee name and Social Security number (SSN) errors. Doing so will ensure accurate wage reporting for employees.
In addition, the SSA announced that it will no longer mail Employer Correction Request Notices (EDCORs) to employers. As you may be aware, EDCORs have been in use to notify employers of name and SSN mismatches.
The SSA reports that nearly 10% of Forms W-2 (“Wage and Tax Statement”) that it receives have mismatched name/SSN combinations. Many of these errors are because of typos, unreported name changes or inaccurate employer records. Erroneous wage information makes it difficult to credit earnings to a worker’s record, potentially resulting in ineligibility for Social Security benefits or incorrect benefit amounts.
Employers may use the BSO portal to correct errors before, during and after the development and submission of wage reports. The BSO portal has three tools:
1. AccuWage Online. This tool reviews the accuracy of Forms W-2 and W-2c (“Corrected Wage and Tax Statement”) by identifying common formatting errors. Employers can use it to identify errors before uploading the forms. AccuWage may be used to test files for any tax year.
Employers who wish to use AccuWage Online must establish a valid BSO username and password. Once you’ve done so, you can log in with your BSO account info and go to the Employer Wage Reporting application webpage.
2. Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS). The SSNVS allows employers to verify up to 10 names and SSNs.
3. View Name and Social Security Number Errors. This tool allows employers to view the processing status, errors (including name and SSN mismatches), and error notices for submitted wage files and/or wage reports.
EDCOR mailings discontinued
As mentioned, the SSA’s press release also notes that Andrew Saul, Commissioner of the SSA, has decided that the agency will no longer mail EDCORs to employers. He believes the SSA should “focus agency efforts on making it a better, easier, and more convenient experience for employers to report and correct wages electronically.”
Employers play a key role in the administration of Social Security benefits. Make sure your payroll staff is aware of these changes by the SSA — particularly the discontinuation of EDCORs, as you’ll need to catch errors on your own.