Social security death certificate index

Marriage Registers of Freedman , an article from Prologue This article describes the marriage records available for freed slaves and other records about slave families. These records are an invaluable source for African-American family history. See links to more resources on African-American Research. Deaths of U.

National Death Index

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Social Security Death Index

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Name required. Dick Eastman, author Dick Eastman has been writing this genealogy newsletter for 23 years. Read the Plus Edition Newsletter More news, no ads! The Social Security Death Master File is an index of 90 million deaths that have been reported to the agency over 75 years by survivors, hospitals, funeral homes and state offices.

The listings include names, Social Security numbers and dates of death. The agency did not make the information public until , after a legal ruling required that the data be disclosed. The list is updated weekly, and although it is neither comprehensive nor percent accurate, it is considered the most current record of deaths nationwide, making it a rich trove for researchers.

It is also far more affordable for researchers than the leading alternative, a death index kept by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that, while more complete, is typically 14 months to 18 months out of date. For a decade, the Social Security master file routinely included records provided by the states. But last year, after reports that the widespread availability of death records was facilitating identity theft, the Social Security Administration determined that it had been improperly releasing the state records as part of the file. Under a law, the agency concluded, those state records — but only those records — were exempted from public disclosure. They could, however, be made available to other federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that needed them to determine whether to pay or discontinue benefits.

As a result, four million deaths were expunged from the publicly available master file last November. Social Security officials expect the number of deaths disclosed each year — 2. For epidemiologists, it can be critical to learn quickly when the subject of a study has died so that details can be gathered while memories and records are fresh.

Without an updated national index, it can be difficult to track those who have moved repeatedly or perhaps died alone. Jesse D. Schold, a health researcher at the Cleveland Clinic , said the holes in the master file, which will only grow larger, had already compromised his investigation into mortality rates among living kidney donors. Confirming deaths of subjects by surveying every state would be prohibitively burdensome, he said. And using the index compiled by the C. Genealogy Web sites make the data available on the Internet at little or no cost.