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Genealogy > US Social Security Death Index (SSDI)

US Social Security Death Index (SSDI) / The Basics...

Most everyone in the United States gets a Social Security Number (SSN) issued from the government at some point in their life (now automatically at birth), and the SSN serves as the one of the primary (and private) unique means of identification for all U.S. Citizens.  Once a person dies and their death is officially reported to the U. S. Social Security Administration (SSA), their SSN and other related information are added to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), and becomes public information (and their SSN no longer usable).  There are several places on the Internet where you can search the SSDI database - Ancestry.com requires a paid subscription, but the LDS FamilySearch.org site is free here.  You can also find background information the SSDI record collection here.


SSDI / The Challenges...


SSDI / The Advantages...


SSDI / The SS-5 SSN Application Form...


























Ancestry.com also has a companion database  called the “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007” (now 49 million records), which has much the same information as the SSDI, but importantly often includes critical information such as the person’s parent’s names, and name changes (e.g. marriages).  This info can often negate the need to obtain the SS-5.