The Social Security Death Index ( or SSDI as it is commonly called ) is a searchable database of deceased people that is maintained by the U. S. Social Security Administration, using their Death Master File records.
As of this post, the Social Security Death Index contains over 80 million records of people who were reported to the U.S. Social Security Administration as being deceased from 1962 to the present.
You can search the Social Security Death Index for deceased people by entering one or more pieces of information about the person, including: last name, first name, middle initial or the person’s social security number.
If there is a record of that person’s death on file in the Social Security Death Index database, the search engine will return the following information to you about the deceased person: first name, middle initial, date of birth, date of death, last known residence, last benefit, social security number and the state that the SSN was issued in.
NOTE: not all deceased U.S. citizens are listed in the Social Security Death Index.
There are several reasons a person may not be listed in the Social Security Death Index search, including the following:
# The death wasn’t reported to the Social Security Administration.
# The death occurred before the SSA’s Death Master File was maintained on a database. About 98 percent of the deaths in Social Security Death Index database occurred from the year 1962 – present.
# The deceased person did not participate in the Social Security program.
# Survivor death benefits are still being paid to the person’s dependents or spouse.
# The person’s death may be too recent and, therefore, not indexed yet.
# Other human errors.
The Social Security Death Index search is routinely used by genealogy researchers to find records of deceased family members as well as fraud investigators to find out if a social security number ( SSN ) is on record as having belonged to a deceased person.
Rootsweb.com offers a free SSDI people search that anyone can use @ Social Security Death Index Search Engine.