Friday, April 18, 2014

Dee Dee King Reports on SSDI/Death Master File Restrictions

If you've kept up with the news about the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) in recent years, you know that public access was threatened.  Recently, a bill was passed by Congress and signed by the President to restrict pulbic access to death information reported to the Social Security Administration for three years after date of death.

Forensic Genealogist Dee Dee King was written a report on her experiences trying to become certified for limited access to the Death Master File (DMF, which we know as SSDI).  She succeeded in becoming certified, and after paying the necessary fees for access, has written up her experiences in a special Forensic Genealogy News publication:

Demystifying the DMF (Go to the Resources page at and click the link for Vol 4 #3 Special DMF Edition).

Please read the entire article for a better understanding of how the new law affects genealogical researchers.  My takeaways:

*  The current Social Security Death Index (SSDI) databases can remain on the subscription and free websites with the same information as before.

*  The next public access edition of the SSDI/DMF will probably be released in 2017.

*  Future editions of the SSDI/DMF may contain less information - only SSN, name, birth date and birth place.

We owe a major debt of gratitude to Dee Dee King for her work in explaining and demystifying the SSDI/DMF.  Thank you, Dee Dee!

Interested readers can read all of the Forensic Genealogy News issues at

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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