FOIA request for the Social Security Applications and Claims Index

Reclaim The Records filed this request with the Social Security Administration of the United States of America.
Awaiting Acknowledgement


From: Reclaim The Records

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

I represent a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Reclaim The Records. We are an activist group of genealogists, historians, journalists, and open government advocates who acquire genealogical and archival data sets and images from government sources, often through the use of Freedom of Information laws. We then upload those records to the Internet, making them freely available to the public and returning them to the public domain.

We request a copy of a database that is commonly known as the "Social Security Applications and Claims Index", although that may not be the exact name your agency uses for it internally. It is a database composed of information filed with the Social Security Administration through the application or claims process. It appears to include information from your NUMIDENT data, showing original data taken from SS-5 applications for Social Security Numbers (SSN), but it also includes claim information, including Life Claims and Death Claims, as well as Duplicate SSN requests. Database fields include fields such as name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, parents' names, type of claim, and so on. This database would only contain information about people whose deaths have been reported to the Social Security Administration or who would be more than 110 years old if still living.

Your agency has already provided a copy of this data to the commercial genealogy company, in approximately 2015, and they have since made it available online here:

However, the full search results within that database are held behind the company's paywall, and only visible to their logged-in subscribers. We are now requesting a copy of this database for our non-profit organization, so that we may post it online for free public use. While Ancestry appears to have posted a copy of this data for 1937-2007, we are requesting that our data set go up to the present day, or as recently as is available.

We would also like to recommend that your agency upload a copy of the file to the federal government's open data portal,

We request that this file be turned over to us in database format, as it already exists in a database. We would like to receive it on a portable USB drive, and we are willing to pay the costs for purchasing that drive and for its insured and trackable domestic shipping, as well as any fees associated with fulfilling this request. Please inform us of all fees in advance of fulfilling our order.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your timely response within twenty business days, as the statute requires.


Brooke Schreier Ganz
President and Founder of Reclaim The Records


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