Social Security Death Index

 

 

Below are links that will enable you to search or browse the social security death index.

SSDI via FamilySearch (Free)

SSDI via FamilyTreeLegends (premium site)

SSDI via SteveMorse (Free)

SSDI via Fold3 (Free)

Tip: Try browsing  by last name instead of searching.  This alternative approach may help you find something that is not surfacing based on your search term

SSDI via Mocavo (Premium site)

SSDI via Ancestry (Premium site – Free at many Libraries)

SSDI via Social Security Death Master (SSDM) (Free) 

Social Security Death Master File uses a much different approach compared to the methods listed above.  To use the SSDM find the year and then the month and date someone was born.  The website then presents an alphabetical list of those who have passed including the date and their social security number. This site can be very helpful if you know when someone was born but you are unsure of the exact spelling of their name.

Browse by Birth Year

Browse by Last Name

 

Copy of Social Security Application

To obtain copies of the social security application you must submit a FORM SSA-711 and a small fee.  It takes many weeks to get a response but in our case we were very pleased to have the extra information which kept our search going.

 

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Time Period Covered

The social security death index covers those who were issued a social security number, have since passed away and had appropriate paperwork filed.  There are two important considerations.  Firstly, the person must have had a social security number. The social security process has only been in place since 1937 and  you should factor in that date and be aware that not everyone is covered.  Secondly, the appropriate paperwork must have been filed.  In one case, we had a relative who passed away in 1960 but could find no record of her in the social security death index.  After several letters and phone calls it was determined the original paperwork at the time of her death was not properly filed.

How can this help?

The social security death index (SSDI) is helpful for a few reasons.  It provides another independent source of information and if your relative is in the system you can request a scanned copy of his or her social security application form. We found this document of great interest because the application form is handwritten by the applicant, offering first hand information about his or her birthplace and parents’ names.  We would highly recommend obtaining the social security application form as an additional step if you are particularly stuck.

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