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Back  RFI # 1832: 270 Elig Inqy - hyphens in SSN

Formal vs. Informal Help Informal Formal


joanne hoagland


In the 270 Elig Inquiry, the Addl Indentification REF segments @ 2100C and D have the option of using the SY qualifier for SSN in the REF01. Submitters are sending the SSN in the REF02 with hyphens. We cannot locate anywhere in the 270/271 TR3 where it indicates hyphens are not allowed. So we are accepting transactions with hyphens, yet they are being rejected by other entities. Can you explain what is and is not acceptable in that field when using the SY qualifier, and where in the TR3 it specifically addresses that? thanks


As per the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Federal Publication Number: 05-10633, a Social Security Number (SSN) consists of nine digits, commonly written as three fields separated by hyphens: AAA-GG-SSSS. Additionally it is noted that a SSN is considered invalid if any of the three fields contained within the SSN are all zeros.

Within version 005010X279A1 of the 270/271 TR3, explicit statements regarding the exclusion of special characters, such as embedded hyphens, are always present where intended (for example, for Postal Codes). The absence of such a statement for Social Security Numbers confirms that embedded hyphens are acceptable. Therefore, as per the 005010X279A1 version of the 270/271 TR3, as well as the SSA definition of this External Code List, it is permissible to include hyphens within an SSN.


The following note has been added to all occurrences of the Social Security Number Qualifier starting with the 006020X280 version of the ASC X12 270/271 TR3 document and will presumably carry forward into subsequent TR3 versions:

“The Social Security Number must be a string of exactly nine numbers with no separators. For example, sending "111002222" would be valid, while sending "111-00-2222" would be invalid. “

While this is not a requirement under the 005010X279A1 version of the 270/271 TR3, it is highly recommended that trading partners use the formatting designated in this note because hyphens are not permitted in downstream transactions.
Submission 7/30/2013
Status Date 11/18/2013
Status F - Final
Primary References
Document 005010X279