Wednesday, February 8, 2012


In the last few months we have heard a lot about the SSDI being blocked from public use, and yes that includes us genealogist. The issue is that people are using it to comment tax fraud by gaining the SSN and names of deceased individuals, and the government is trying to stop it. The SSDI was created so that the IRS could have a master list to check against when dealing with tax returns. So why aren't they using it like that? Just like SOPA/PIPA that they tried to pass last month this bill is to over reaching, and to large to actually work. 

Just like you I see it from purely the genealogy point of view. My first reaction is WHAT!? HOW WILL I FIND [ insert name]! I NEED THE SSDI....but, we aren't the only people to use it, insurance, the courts, banks, law enforcement etc. all use it to find the next of kin, and to find people. It would raise the cost and make probate and other court cases drawn out and longer then what they already can be now. 

That is why the RPAC (Records Preservation & Access Committee) has created a petition that every genealogist, family historian, researcher, librarian, police officer, judge...well everyone needs to sign. It is asking that instead of taking access away, that the IRS does its  job and double check the tax information against what is in the master files of the SSDI. 

According to the RPAC website:

The We the People petition, now posted at and accepting signatures, has a simple yet effective mission:

Take immediate steps that would curtail the filing of fraudulent tax refund claims based upon identity theft from recently deceased infants and adults.

No need for lengthy hearings in front of a Congressional committee. No need for filing statements for or against any House action. No need to waste time and effort which could be directed to more pressing national issues. In fact, the National Taxpayer Advocate in 2011 issued suggestions which do not require additional legislation but can be implemented collaboratively between the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA) almost immediately in time to impact the current tax filing season.
 Please Please Please sign and pass it on to everyone you know. The petition still needs over 24,000 signatures before March 8th! Plus write/email/call your representatives and tell them its not okay to take out the IRS's laziness out on the people. 

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott


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