Ordering USA Death Certificates
Social Security Death Records
by Natalie D. Cottrill
The Social Security Death Records Index (SSDI) includes most deceased individuals who died after 1962 and who also owned a Social Security number. The SSDI lists the deceased's name, their Social Security number (SSN), date of birth, date of death, state where the SSN was issued, ZIP code of the last residence, and ZIP code of where the death benefit was sent.
The Social Security Administration has records in the death index from about 1962 when the reporting process became automated. The SSDI is a useful tool for genealogists in that it often provides the deceased's exact birth and death dates and the geographic region in which the individual died (see an example). If you find a Social Security death record entry for individual in the SSDI, you may write to the Social Security Administration to obtain information from the deceased's Social Security application file. The cost for the full application (also called an SS5 form) is currently $27.00.
Social Security Administration Office of Earnings Operations FOIA Workgroup 300 N. Greene Street P.O. Box 33022 Baltimore, Maryland 21290