How Long Does it Take for Someone to Appear in the Social Security Death Index?

+5 votes
I am about to create a profile for a cousin who died two years ago. I noticed that he doesn't appear in the SSDI. I have also encountered situations where someone has never been recorded as deceased in the SSDI. Any idea on what is the typical amount of time after a person dies when their name appears?
in The Tree House by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (256k points)
retagged by Steve McCabe
Call Social Security,Have cousins Social Security number.I did it with my

brother.Ther number is online.

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer

Hi Bart,

I don't know for sure on time or if this is applicable in your case but I found this on ancestry with some hints on searching the index. And thought this might help. I believe it took about 3-4 years for my Grandfather to show up but didn't keep track for sure.

Why can't I find the person I'm looking for?

It could be that the person you're looking for does not meet the criteria for inclusion in the database. The index does not include living people. It is not an index to all deceased individuals who have held Social Security Numbers. It is not a database of all deceased individuals who have received Social Security Benefits, or whose families have received survivor benefits. The SSDI contains basic information about persons with Social Security numbers whose deaths have been reported to the Social Security Administration. See the above section on who is included in the SSDI. (Porter 1999)

If the individual you seek does meet the criteria for inclusion but does not appear in the index, here are some things you might try.

  • Try searching by possible alternate name spellings or Soundex searching.
  • Change dates around (e.g. instead of searching for 5 Oct 1954 [10/5/54], search for 10 May 1954 [5/10/54]).
  • Change years around (e.g. 1984 becomes 1948).
  • Even if you know a piece of information, try omitting it (e.g. if you know first and last name and death date, try leaving off the first name).
  • Use all other possible spellings of the name (and perhaps some that aren't so likely).
  • When searching for a name like O'Hare, or other names with punctuation in them, enter the name without the punctuation (e.g. OHare).
  • If you are looking for someone using a first name but don't find what you're looking for, try searching with just an initial.
  • There are also rare instances of what appear to be middle initials included in the last name field, so you may want to try this in that field as well.
  • Switch last name and first name around.
  • Try searching for a middle name as a first name.

If none of these yield fruit, it is possible that the SSDI has erroneously omitted your ancestor. If this is the case, see the FAQ about correcting errors in the SSDI.

by Living McCabe G2G1 (1.4k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
Well done, Steven!
Great info. Thanks Steven!

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