9/11 Scholars Forum

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For 9/11 Researchers: Who is on the Social Security Death Index





In my recent book, Rumors Fly, Truth Walks: How Lies Become Our History, I located 59 names from the 9/11 passenger lists on the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) of a total of 246 alleged passengers from the four alleged flights: American 11 and 77 and United 93 and 175.  This comes out to a little less than 24 percent of the total.

What is the significance of this finding?


To answer that question, here are important guidelines to consider in judging the accuracy of the SSDI:

The Social Security Death Index consists of an online searchable database. It only includes the names of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to Social Security.

This index is a master index file of deaths reported to the Social Security Administration. It has been kept since 1962, when operations were computerized. The index includes about 50 percent of deceased persons from 1962 to 1971 and about 85 percent of the deceased persons from 1972 to 2005. It also includes a few deaths from 1937 to 1961.  Current as of September 30, 2012.”


Source: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/United_States_Social_Security_Death_Index_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)


Eighty-five percent!  So who does NOT make the list?

The SSDI does not include death records for everyone who has been issued a Social Security Number (card). Common reasons for exclusion include the following:

  • The death was not reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • The death occurred before the Death Master File was maintained in a computer      database. About 98 percent of the deaths in this database occurred between 1962 and the present.
  • The person did not participate in the Social Security program.
  • Survivor  death benefits were (are) being paid to dependents or spouse.
  • A  recent death may not be indexed yet.
  • Human error.”


Source: http://helpdesk.rootsweb.com/ssdi/index.html#reasons


Who receives survivor death benefits?

Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, including:

—A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);

—A widow or widower at any age who is caring for the deceased’s child under age 16 or disabled;

—An unmarried child of the deceased who is:

°Younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or

°Age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;

—A stepchild, grandchild, stepgrandchild or adopted child under certain circumstances;

—Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and

—A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.”


Source: How Social Security Can Help You When A Family Member Dies



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