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Social Security Number - Structure Significance

Until June 2011, The first three digits are assigned according to the geographic region in which the person was residing at the time he or she obtained a number. Generally, numbers were assigned beginning in the northeast and moving westward. The remaining six digits in the number are randomly assigned. Social Security is changing the way Social Security numbers (SSN) are issued. This change is referred to as “randomization.” Social Security is developing this new method to help protect the integrity of the SSN. SSN Randomization will also extend the longevity of the nine-digit SSN nationwide. Social Security plans to implement the new assignment methodology on June 25, 2011. SSN randomization will affect the SSN assignment process in the following ways: n It will eliminate the geographical significance of the first three digits of the SSN, currently referred to as the area number, no longer allocating the area numbers for assignment to individuals in specific states. n It will eliminate the significance of the highest group number and, as a result, the High Group List will be frozen, but can be used for validated SSNs issued prior to the randomization implementation date. n Area numbers previously unassigned will be introduced for assignment excluding area numbers 000, 666 and 900-999.

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