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How to Find Past Employment History With a Social Security Number

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It is possible to get prior employment information without using your Social Security Number (SSN). Your previous employer can provide you with the information you stated on your application when you applied for employment. Your local workforce agency can give you a listing of the quarterly wage reports your prior employers filed on you. Depending on your needs, the information these sources provide may or may not be sufficient. An SSN is often needed to obtain comprehensive information on prior employment.

Visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) website and search for Form 7050 (Request for Social Security Earnings Information). Print your name, Social Security Number, and date of birth on the form and check the Detailed Earnings Information box. Once you have signed and dated the form, include your fee when mailing it to the SSA. Your fee depends on the number of years you want your work history to span; a fee chart is included with the form.

A background check using your SSN can confirm if you graduated from the college you indicated on your resume or application, and that you worked for an employer during the time you stated. A background check verifies your SSN and can reveal your work history, individuals you know, your credit report, and your criminal and driving history.

The Social Security Administration forwards W-2 data that employers file to the IRS. The IRS can give you a transcript of the W-2s that past employers submitted for you. Whether you are calling in the request or making it via the IRS Form 4506-T, you must provide your SSN.


Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

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