Antique Nguyen. Marketing Specialist. What is included in a DMF search? How accurate is the data?
Social Security Death Index - New Jersey Genealogy - Research Guides at Rutgers University
Who can access these files? This version is provided to the U. What is its value?
What are its implications? Get Email Updates. It is close to being a national death index for the United States. If you find someone listed in the Social Security Death Index you can usually order a copy of the form they filled out when they applied for a Social Security Card SS-5 application from the Social Security Administration for a fee.
This record usually has more information about the person such as date and place of birth, and names of parents.
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However, names of parents may not always be released by the SSA. See restrictions on SS-5 forms below. You can also find information about ordering a copy of an SS-5 form there. The use of databases for ascertainment of mortality status in epidemiological research is common practice. Many prospective cohort studies evaluate the relation between baseline risk factors and total mortality; by means of linking baseline records with databases the mortality status of study participants can be ascertained. For example, Gragoudas et al.
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Previous reports have shown the sensitivity of Internet sources for death ascertainment as high as The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ability of Internet sites based upon the SSA Death Master File to determine mortality status as a function of gender, ethnic background and additional demographic variables among confirmed decedents.
Date and cause of death were confirmed by physician review.
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All demographic information, including name, social security number, place of birth, ethnic group and date of birth, was taken from the hospital admission information. The Death Master File contained 65,, records of decedents with social security numbers whose deaths were reported to the SSA and was current through January at the time of this study. Search tools such as the Social Security Death Index SSDI available as a free service on the Internet contain information fields for social security number, surname, given name, date of death, date of birth, last known residence, location of last benefit, and date and place of issuance.
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The database is not downloadable, however, software to allow for multiple searches can be easily implemented using packages such as JAVA. Searches can be conducted with any one field or a combination of fields. Searches were conducted individually and without use of a data matching software package.
Free Social Security Death Index Search
Continuous variables are expressed as mean value standard deviation. The mean differences for continuous variables were compared by t-test 2-tailed. Categorical values are expressed as percentage standard deviation and compared using chi-square statistics. Analysis of variance was performed to estimate adjusted means.
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Age was divided in four categories based on distribution quartiles. Logistic regression was used to identify the variables that best predict positive detection by the Internet mortality database. The decedents are characterized by identification status in Table 1. Those not identified as dead were significantly more likely to be younger and foreign born. We did not observe significant differences in calendar year of birth and of death, gender, or ethnic background.
Sensitivity for American-born males, The sensitivity for foreign-born decedents is substantially lower. For foreign-born males it drops to Sensitivity as a function of age is displayed in Table 3. Significant differences in sensitivity were found for age quartiles, ranging from The results of logistic regression are seen in Table 4. We did not observe statistically significant odds ratios for reaching retirement age i.
In our study, the internet source of information from the SSA Death Master File demonstrated high and consistent sensitivity for detecting mortality status of both American-born men and women. The sensitivity for American-born decedents was The SSA reports that in most cases a report of death was made in connection with a claim for Social Security death benefits.
In some cases, it is reported to stop Social Security Benefits to the deceased. The primary sources of information utilized for the SSA DMF are relatives of deceased individuals, funeral directors, financial institutions, postal services, as well as other government agencies [ 9 ]. Thus the reasons for exclusion from the SSDI include not having a social security number and not having the death reported to the SSA [ 5 , 10 ].
The SSA was originally founded by an act of Congress in as a retirement program.
In the SSA was required to issue social security numbers SSNs to all legally admitted aliens at entry; SSNs are assigned to all persons authorized to work in the US who request them, including newborns. SSNs are required for tax purposes, to get medical coverage or apply for government services.
As a result, most Americans and legal aliens have SSNs [ 11 , 12 ]. Our study employed social security number as the primary search field and name as secondary. We found an overall sensitivity of We believe one source of this discrepancy to be related to the disproportionate frequency of name changes in women. Having information on social security number has been shown to greatly improve sensitivity, as well as specificity, for sources of mortality [ 7 , 9 , 13 , 14 ], possibly by reducing the impact of inexact matches of name e.
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