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The US Congress ( House of Representatives and Senate) has adjourned for elections and won't return until November 13 for the "lame duck" session which will last up until the new Congress is seated in January. No action on the six bills before either the House or Senate regarding the Social Security Death Index (the commercial name of the Death Master File) will occur before the lame duck session -- if then. They had been waiting for the Obama Administration bill, but with Congress out until November 13 nothing has been forthcoming from the Administration at this time. Jan Meisels AllenIAJGS Vice PresidentChairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee...
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Blog Posting from Sharon Sergeant, member of the Civil Records Committee: It might be the dog days of summer, and the last few months of the current two-year Congressional session, but we are still seeing new legislation being introduced. The latest, sponsored by Rep. Richard Nugent of Florida, condenses previous bills that included closure of the Social Security Death Index (Death Master File or DMF) into a new bill, H.R. 6205. It was introduced on July 26th and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The full text of the new bill can be found at or  The head of the Senate committee dealing with this issue also filed a new bill, S. 3432, which you can read at These bills have the least restrictive wording on closure of the Death Master File. The DMF (which genealogists know as the SSDI) would be closed for two...
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Remember when we all heard about a subcommittee hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives about closing the SSDI? There were four bills regarding this, three in the House and one in the U.S. Senate. That Senate bill (S.1534) comes up for a hearing this week. At 10:00 AM Eastern time, on Tuesday, March 20th, the Senate’s subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth has a hearing titled, “Tax Fraud by Identity Theft, Part 2: Status, Progress, and Potential Solutions.” THE HEARING The website for this subcommittee is multipurpose. Before the hearing you can use it to learn who will be testifying and how to submit your own written testimony. During the hearing (10:00 AM Eastern time), you can go to this page to access a streaming video of the hearing itself. The page is: THE BILL Senate bill S.1534 is sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, who...
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Deciphering the Acronyms The Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC) is an umbrella organization with both individual and organizational members interested in genealogical and historical research in Massachusetts, and who care about access to public records. MGC monitors legislation, both in Massachusetts and nationally, to ensure that our public records remain accessible. It's not as fun as doing genealogical research, but it is necessary work.  Image courtesy of theUnited States Social Security Administration SSDI stands for Social Security Death Index, the commercial term for the Social Security Administration (SSA) Death Master File (DMF). The DMF is a list of Social Security numbers of people now deceased and whose numbers may not be used by anyone ever again. The Death Master File was created by the SSA to address pension and other forms of benefit fraud, and when used properly, it does just that. It is considered a public document under the Freedom of Information Act, and is sold...
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