Background – Section 215 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act directs the Social Security Administration (SSA) to modify or develop a database for accepting and comparing fraud protection data provided electronically by a permitted entity. Permitted entities are financial institutions (or service providers, subsidiary, affiliates, agents, subcontractors, or assignees of financial institutions).

Initial Rollout – In June 2019, the SSA announced the initial enrollment period for a new electronic Consent Based Social Security Number Verification (eCBSV) service. This is a fee-based SSN verification service. eCBSV will allow permitted entities to verify an individual’s SSN based on the SSN holder’s signed consent. Valid, signed consent must include a wet or electronic signature. Electronic signatures must meet the definition of electronic signature in the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and other requirements. The written consent must clearly specify to whom the information may be disclosed, the information you want us to disclose (e.g., SSN verification), and where applicable, during which time frame the information may be disclosed (e.g., whenever the subject individual is receiving specific services). Based on the SSN holder’s consent, permitted entities will be able to submit via an application programming interface fraud protection data to SSA for each verification request.

The SSA will roll out the service to a limited number of users in June 2020 to interested permitted entities that applied during this initial enrollment period (the period closed July 31, 3019). Permitted entities that did not apply during the initial enrollment period must wait until the next designated period after the planned expansion to apply for enrollment. The SSA plans on expanding the number of users within six months of the initial rollout. Unfortunately, a permitted entity that did not submit a valid application before the July 31, 2019 deadline, will not have the opportunity to apply for the expanded rollout in late 2020, and must wait until the next open enrollment period for which there could be as long as a two-year wait.