What is SSDI? It is a database of records which have been taken from the Death Master Files of the Social Security Administration. Though it sounds pretty gloomy, social security death index is actually a pretty useful information source of SSDI database available to you for many different and numerous purposes for finding people through their social security number as well as their last name.
Let us take an example over here. Suppose you are organizing a grand reunion of all your family members and relatives from your maternal side and you suddenly have this amazing idea of creating a family tree and making it a part of your celebrations. But, the problem is that you can remember anyone beyond two generations and you just can't make a family tree consisting of two generations coz that would be a bonsai tree and not your regular and normal family tree! So, what is the solution? Well, you go and search for people through their social security numbers.
You can easily go through the social security death index, which can be found online, to know more about your maternal grandmother, who was a schoolteacher who expired in the year 1983. As the SSDI is automated for the death of all the people since the year 1952, the chances of finding the records of her death in the SS death index are pretty good.
The information available is the full name of the person, social security number, the state where the SSN was issued, the date of birth of the person, the date on which the person passed away, the last listed address of the person as well as the death benefit payment, if there is any.
But the social security death index of a person is not sufficient enough and will not help you that much. However, when you have your late grandmother's social security number as well as her SSDI listing, then you can always order a copy of the original form "SS-5", which is actually an application form for the social security card from the United States . The expenditure for this will be around $27. This will contain complete information including her mother's full maiden name, her father's name and important stuff that you will need in order to trace your roots. Hence, you will have as much information as an investigative services like Net Detective will have to trace your family line as much as it can using information obtained from other sources.
But, the SSDI is not at all reliable. This is because there are many cases wherein a person whom you know might be dead, and you know that the person is dead as you yourself attended the person's funeral wearing your best clothes, but you will not find a social security death index listing of that person. The reason behind this might be that the person, let's say, your uncle Ben never had a social security number. Or maybe he passed away before the year 1962 meaning that her records are not on-line and are simple there in the hard copy land, lying in dust within an archive. Or another reason may be that her death took place only two months ago and the social security death index hasn't updated its record yet.
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