Saturday, November 19, 2011

More changes from SSA affecting genealogy

I just heard of this today and it's another pointless change negatively affecting genealogists, including those who are just barely starting researching their family history.

     According to Megan Smolenyak via her blog "Roots World," the Social Security Administration is now blocking the parents' names on SS applications unless you provide proof the parents are dead or the applicant would be at least 100 years old. As Megan points out, most of us order these because we don't know the parents' names so proof of their death is not possible and regardless, many of the possibly living parents that are being protected would be well over 100 years old. (The previous policy blocked parents' names for more recently born applicants which was reasonable).
     Essentially you should carefully consider the cost of ordering a relative's Social Security Application as it may well be a complete waste of money if you are interested in proof of parentage. One work around that may be possible for some of you is to order the application for an older sibling. You can read Megan's full post, including a copy of the letter she received explaining this new policy, here.