This article is a section taken from Medical Assistance (MA), a part of the revisions and additions to the Minnesota Health Care Program Eligibility Policy Manual.

Medical Assistance (MA)Social Security Number

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) uses Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to identify applicants and enrollees and to administer Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP). DHS matches SSNs against records in electronic data sources to identify and verify household income and size based on the most recent tax return filed by the household tax filer.

Each person requesting Medical Assistance (MA) must provide their SSN as a condition of eligibility unless they meet an exception. People who do not have SSNs and do not meet an exception must apply for an SSN. The following are exceptions:

  • An applicant who refuses to obtain an SSN because of a well-established religious objection

  • A noncitizen who is not eligible to receive an SSN or does not have one and may only be issued one for a valid non-work reason

  • People applying for or receiving Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA), CHIP funded MA for pregnant women or MA for people receiving services from the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT)

  • A child eligible for MA as an auto newborn

  • A child receiving Northstar Title IV-E Foster Care or Title IV-E Kinship Assistance

  • A child receiving Northstar Title IV-E Adoption Assistance

  • A child receiving Title IV-E or non-Title IV-E adoption assistance under the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA)

  • Refugees applying for or receiving Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA)

An agency may request but cannot require someone who is not applying for coverage to provide an SSN. If the agency requests the SSN of a non-applicant, the disclosure must:

  • be voluntary,

  • only be used to determine an applicant’s eligibility for an MHCP or for a purpose directly connected to the administration of the State Plan, and

  • include clear information on how the SSN will be used and notice to the application filer that it is voluntary.


Each applicant’s SSN must be verified with the Social Security Administration (SSA) unless they meet an exemption. If an applicant cannot recall their SSN or if an SSN has not been issued for the applicant, the county, tribal or state servicing agency must assist the applicant in:

  • completing an application for an SSN, if an SSN has not been issued for the applicant, or

  • contacting the SSA to confirm the applicant’s SSN if one has already been issued, or

  • resolving discrepancies in the case file that are preventing successful verification.

Eligibility cannot be delayed for an otherwise eligible applicant pending the issuance or verification of an SSN. A notice must be sent to the person to inform them that they have 95 days from the date of the notice to provide proof of their SSN.

When a person indicates that they have applied for an SSN they must provide proof of application. The proof of application is acceptable until the person receives the SSN. The 95-day period can be extended while waiting for SSA to issue the SSN.

The newly issued or corrected SSN must be electronically verified with the SSA. Electronic verification is ultimately required to verify a person’s SSN.

MA coverage ends with 10-day advance notice if after the 95-day period the enrollee fails to cooperate with the SSN verification process.

Legal Citations

Code of Federal Regulations, title 20, section 422.104
Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.907
Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.910
Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.948
Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.952
Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.956
Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 457.340

CREDIT: The content of this post has been copied or adopted from the Minnesota Healthcare Programs Eligibility Policy Manual, originally published by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

This is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Healthcare Eligibility Policies.