Any time a person in the United States with a Social Security number dies, that death is registered in a national database that can be accessed by members of the general public. The database has recorded every death since 1936, and as of 2013, it featured tens of millions of records. It's a dark place to navigate, seeing the relics of people who passed for various reasons. It's also one of the most easily records databases in the United States. You can access the records relatively easily for a host of purposes. While the US keeps a main death file that cannot be accessed by the general public, Social Security death records are a bit different. Why might you go digging in this virtual graveyard? Here are three uses for a dark space.
Filling in the gaps in medical research
If you're in the medical or research industries, Social Security death records can certainly come in handy. These records help scientists fill in the gaps when they have conducted clinical research. One of the biggest issues with this research is a lack of follow-up with patients who have gone through the trials. When did they die? How did they pass? This information can provide helpful tidbits to make the research stronger. Many scientists have found clues in the Social Security death records to help them better understand the people they've already studied.
Figuring out the whens and hows of family genealogy
If you're the kind of person who needs to know precisely where you came from, then you know all about the puzzle of piecing together your family's history. People move and before the Internet was around, people had a difficult time keeping track of deaths in the family. Where did grandpa Joe go and when did he pass away? Did that random cousin go settle in Oklahoma to reconnect with his Choctaw ancestry? The Social Security death records can help you answer those questions while you put together a clearer picture of who your family was and why it all matters.
Some important claims can rest on when a person passed away. Especially in estate law and wrongful death law, these records could be the missing clues that help lawyers make their cases. If you find yourself working on a case where the date of death is in dispute, you should consider Social Security death records as a source. It's as accurate as they come, and you may be able to glean important knowledge that helps you win for your client.
Social Security death records may be spooky, but they are also helpful. Every time a person passes away in the US, they are recorded in this registry. Their information sits waiting for some person with a purpose to come along and conduct an exhaustive search. If you were in a field that required absolute accuracy, wouldn't you want to do everything in your power to get to the bottom of an important death?