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The Social Security Death Index

By Edited Jul 30, 2016 1 2

The Social Security Death Index can be accessed by virtually anyone, making it a great way to find the information you are looking for. In most cases, the information is available for free, but not through the government. This process, while sometimes confusing, is not nearly as hard to use as you may think. In addition, many of the commercial type sites offer you access to the Social Security Death Index at no charge, making it a great way to find the records you need.


Commercial Sites:


As noted, you must access the Social Security Death Index by using a commercial site. This information can be verified on the Government site, socialsecurity.gov, for those uncertain about using one of the commercial sites. The SSDI is made available to these types of sites only, it is not available for public use, except when using one of these types of sites.

While there is no guarantee the information will be available to you at no charge, generally, you will find many commercial sites that do not charge any sort of fees. Keep in mind that generally means there may be exceptions. For this reason, it's important to read all the fine print on each site. If you want to be sure you won't be charged, you should not enter any credit card information. Use appropriate caution when you access the Social Security Death Index through any sites, to avoid unexpected, or unwanted charges and fees.

Typically, once you find a person listed in the death index, you will have access to their Social Security number and date of birth. This information is available through the SSDI, but they cannot and do not offer any sort of support for the sites.


What records are available?


You'll find that you can access information through the Social Security Death Index on virtually anyone at all, assuming they had a Social Security number. This makes the Death Index a fairly reliable source for these types of records, and can make genealogy searches much easier.




The Social Security Death Index was not automated until 1962. This makes searching for those that died prior to 1962 "sketchy" according to socialsecurity.gov, SSA's official website. According to the SSA site, those that died before 1962 will typically only be listed if the information was reported to SSA after 1962. This can make your search of the Social Security Death Index a little bit harder in many cases.



You can use the tool in many different ways. Genealogy is among the most popular. Those wishing to make a family tree may find the information, when coupled with other sources, to be incredibly helpful. In addition, you may wish to use the SSDI to gather information on a famous person, which is also available.  While the information is somewhat limited, it can be very helpful in assisting you in your needs. The Social Security Death Index can be a great tool.



Oct 21, 2009 5:12pm
Yes, I'm interested. I sent you an email. I have read many of your articles. I have no doubt you are very successful.
Oct 30, 2009 1:16pm
TX for you well written information. Thumbs up post.
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