Social Security Death Index, 1937 to 2011

The Social Security Death Index contains 87,890,604 records from the year 1937 through 2011. These records were collected from the Social Security Administration. Individuals who wish to learn more about the records in the Social Security Death Index can visit the Social Security Administration .

Information Available In This Collection

The records collected in the Social Security Death Index display the first, middle and last name of the deceased, along with date of birth, date of death, age at death, first known location and last known residence.

About the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration is responsible for compiling the records found in the Social Security Death Index. Individuals who need information on how to obtain copies of these records should use the following information to contact the Social Security Administration.

Social Security Administration
6401 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21235
800-772-1213

The Social Security Administration was introduced during the Great Depression Era in 1935 to ensure that citizens over 65 years old would receive a monthly stipend to help with living expenses. In 1936, social security numbers were distributed by the U.S. Postal Service to help the Social Security Administration track and properly credit workers who were having payroll deductions taken towards future Social Security payments. Although allowances for disability and medical insurance have been added in later years, the Social Security Administration, which began as a board of three members appointed by President Roosevelt, has grown considerably since that time.

The Social Security Administration has an extensive archives collection of records, including vital records like death certificates that support the death index, which is constantly being updated. Most of the records relate to the history of the Social Security Administration, including audio recordings of several presidents, legislative meetings, and photographs. In 1963, the Historian's Office was created to fully document and archive the records already amassed and put in a system to keep recording its history. This included gathering oral histories from witnesses to various Social Security related events.

The Social Security Death Index is compiled using the information from the Social Security Administration's databases, but it is updated by NTIS, an outside company. Also, the death index is available online or for download, but it must be purchased. Usually, businesses subscribe to the Social Security Death Index in order to prevent identity fraud and determine whether a person is truly deceased. However, after the Freedom of Information Act, the public won the right to download or view the full death index file.

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