What happens to your Social Security Number after you die?

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You Asked:

What happens to your Social Security Number after you die? — Billy, Kissimmee, Fla.

Marshall Brain Answers:

Social security numbers of dead people get loaded into a database called the Social Security Death Index. This turns out to be a public database and there are several places on the Internet where you can access it. If you are curious, try this site:

Social Security Death Index (SSDI)

If you type in the name of a dead person (I tried my grandfather), the database will show:

- Date of birth
- Date of death
- Last Residence
- The person’s social security number
- The state where the social security number was issued

With a nine digit social security number, there are plenty of numbers to go around. Less than half of the available numbers have been used so far. Sometime around 2060, they probably will need to add a few digits if population trends follow the current path.

For more info see: How Social Security Works

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