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Johnson, Renacci Introduce Bill to Safeguard Americans from Identity Loss

May 25, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Subcommittee Member Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) introduced the Social Security MAIL Act, commonsense legislation to protect Americans from identity loss. This legislation will require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from mailed documents when they’re deemed unnecessary and to justify when it is necessary to include SSNs on mailed documents.

“Despite telling Americans countless times about the need to protect their Social Security Numbers, Social Security fails to take its own advice,” said Subcommittee Chairman Johnson. “The SSA makes too many Americans vulnerable to identity loss by mailing documents that include a Social Security Number when it’s just not necessary. Americans rightly expect that Social Security isn’t putting their identities at risk when a letter is lost or stolen. Our bill is a commonsense solution to a problem that simply shouldn’t exist.”

“As a personal victim of identity theft and after hearing many similar stories from American taxpayers, I am concerned with the fact that the Social Security Administration placed full SSNs on more than 233 million documents in 2015. In response, I am pleased to join Chairman Johnson in introducing this commonsense proposal to reduce the risk of Americans having their identity stolen by removing unnecessary SSNs from mailed documents,” said Rep. Renacci.

The Social Security MAIL Act will:

  • Require the Social Security Administration to remove the Social Security Number from all unnecessary mailings as soon as practicable; and
  • Require the Social Security Administration to provide bi-annual reports to Congress on the progress of this removal.
    • These bi-annual reports will allow Congress to track the SSA’s progress by requiring the SSA to include which mailings continue to contain a full SSN, and provide either the date the SSN is scheduled to be removed from that mailing, or if the SSA determines that the SSN is necessary, a justification for the determination.


Click here to read the full bill text.