Genealogy Friday: What is SSDI?

posted in: Family History, Genealogy | 0

The Social Security Death Index is most commonly known as the SSDI.  This is a great resource to use in genealogy research, to determine when an individual died or if an individual is deceased.

Please beware that this is not the Social Security Disability Insurance, which is also referred to as SSDI.

social security application

The database dates back to when deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration in 1962.  If you are lucky, you may discover a small amount of deaths provided before 1962.

While it would be nice to find everyone that has died since 1962, there are holes in the system.  However, the closer you get to the modern day the more likely it is to find the information.

Up until 2014, you could find death information within a short time after a death.  However, due to new laws passed that year information cannot be found in the databased until three years after an individual’s death.

If you find an individual on the SSDI, then you an apply for the individual’s application for a Social Security Card {SS-5 Application} for a fee.  On this application you will find much information about their place of birth, date and name of parents.

form for social security

The first SS-5s were first used in late 1936.  The first Social Security payments were paid out about 1940 {some may have been a little earlier}, but the SSDI has little information on those that died from this time until 1961.

SSDI can be found for free on: Family Search

And on, as part of their subscription.

Due to concerns for identity theft, updates have not been issued to the Death Master File since January 2011.

Have you found a loved one on the SSDI?

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