APG-L Archives

Archiver > APG > 2007-01 > 1168529824

From: "Joyce C. Wicks" <>
Subject: [APG] Why we don't find everyone in the Social Security Death Index
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 09:37:04 -0600

Hi Group,

Maybe most of you know this already, but my husband just
found this a couple of days ago. We kept wondering why his
father wasn't in the Social Security Death Index when we
know that his younger brother received a benefit when his
Dad died.

The reason is that he died BEFORE 1962. See the following:

Source: Rootsweb


As marvelous a finding aid as it is, the SSDI does not include
the names of everyone, even if they had a Social Security
number (SNN). If relatives or the funeral home did not report
the death to the Social Security Administration, or if the
individual died before 1962 (when the records were
computerized) then they probably will not appear in this
database. The omission of an individual in this index does not
indicate the person is still living. It simply means that
there was no report of the person's death to Social Security

Reasons you might not find someone in the SSDI

Social Security officially was begun in 1937, with some
payments being paid as early as 1940. However, the Social
Security Death Index is the computerized index to deaths
reported and/or death benefits paid out starting in 1962.

The SSDI includes a few pre-1962 entries, but the great
majority of those included in this index are from 1962
through the present time.

While the limitations of dates may exclude your family
member, other reasons that your ancestor may not be included
in the SSDI might have to do with his or her occupation or
lack thereof.

Prior to the 1960s, farmers, housewives, government
employees, non-employed individuals, and those with a
separate retirement plan might not have had a Social
Security number. It was not until 1988 that all children had
to have Social Security numbers.

I hope this is helpful to some of you.

Joyce C. Wicks, CG

This thread: