View Full Version : H2B - Verifying Social Security Numbers

DFW Area Landscaper
08-28-2004, 12:21 PM
Jim Lewis posted a thread on here a few weeks ago about fake ID's and how you can tell if an employee is eligible for work in the US. I believe the consensus was that if the doc's look real, there is no risk in hiring him.

Take a look at this:


++++Pappas Partners, a Houston-based operator of restaurants, paid a record $1.5 million in a court settlement in which it admitted hiring, shielding and hiding undocumented kitchen staff. Pappas now participates in the telephone verification program that permits the Social Security numbers of newly hired workers to be checked by the Social Security Administration and the A-numbers of non-US citizens to be checked by the INS.++++

For us, it isn't that simple, though. The govy seems to only invest it's time in large corporations who break laws, like Pappas. They couldn't care less about Billy Bob's Lawn Care. But that's us, and that's our competition. We're all small.

If you want to be ligitimate, you have to go through H2B. But that's expensive. You have pay an expert to help you figure out how to make the system work. It's incomprehensible otherwise. And the real kicker is that every third year, your employee has to stay at home in Mexico.

How many guys go through H2B? What are the pro's and con's?

DFW Area Landscaper

08-28-2004, 12:30 PM
DFW, under Federal Law on any new hire in any job you have to fax their info uncluding the SSN to the Fed's for verification. To work in the US legally they must have the documents (SSN, Taxpayer ID #, Official Work Docs for non residents). Once you document that you have done that you are then covered and it is free and required.

DFW Area Landscaper
08-28-2004, 12:39 PM
Then why did Pappas have to pay a $1.5m fine?

BTW: This has got to be the most willie - nillie application of the law in the history of the US. I mean, you could probably walk into any restaurant (or car wash or dry cleaners or small factory, or golf course, roofing crew, road construction crew, framing crew, etc) in america today, flash an INS badge and see people running for their lives. The only reason they went after Pappas is because they have deep pockets and they're successful. As far as I'm concerned, that isn't fair. What about all of Pappas competitors who are still using illegal help? To prosecute only the successful businesses, is, in my opinion, bull schit.

DFW Area Landscaper

08-28-2004, 12:47 PM
It was because he failed to report them to the IRS at all. I agree the work of illegals is a huge mess.

08-28-2004, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by MMLawn
DFW, under Federal Law on any new hire in any job you have to fax their info uncluding the SSN to the Fed's for verification. To work in the US legally they must have the documents (SSN, Taxpayer ID #, Official Work Docs for non residents). Once you document that you have done that you are then covered and it is free and required. Since when? You simply have the new hire fill out W-4 and I-9 information and are simply required to keep it on file. The only agency you are required to report new hires to is DSHS so they can check if any back child support is owed.

08-28-2004, 01:03 PM
Below cut directly from the SSN Gov site from the 2004 Updated requirements.

EVS requests can be submitted at any time and generally take about 30 days to process. There are several methods to choose from based on the number of employee names/SSNs that you want to verify:

Up to 5 names/SSNs
Call our toll-free number for employers, 800-772-6270, or the general SSA number at 800-772-1213. Both numbers are open for service weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

Up to 50 names/SSNs
Up to 50 names/SSNs can be submitted on paper to your local Social Security office. Your local office will provide you with format and submission instructions. Some offices accept faxed listings. Check your local phone book or visit SSA online at www.socialsecurity.gov to find the office nearest you.

Over 50 names/SSNs
A simple registration process is required for verification requests of more than 50 names/SSNs or requests submitted on magnetic media (regardless of how many items you want verified). Just follow the registration instructions on page 2. When SSA processes your registration form and signed privacy act statement, you’ll be issued a Requester Identification Code needed to submit your data file or paper listing.

Large verification requests are ideal for verifying an entire payroll database or if you hire more than 50 workers at a time. Due to system limitations, we ask that magnetic tape or diskettes submissions contain no more than 250,000 items at a time.

Media Accepted: Paper, magnetic tape (9 track, "), 3480/3490 cartridge, and 3½" diskettes. (SSA no longer accepts EVS requests on 5¼" diskettes.)

The remainder of this booklet provides registration information and formatting/submission instructions for requests of more than 50 names/SSNs.

08-28-2004, 01:28 PM
OK - so this states how you can verify a SS# but it doesn't say it's mandatory.

NC Big Daddy
08-28-2004, 01:34 PM
What's your point?......Are you now thinking Mexicans are taking your work? I've read a few of your post and I think you think to much. And just so you know the "Mexicans" are NOT taking anyones job! They work when most lazy Americans don't and I'm talking from hard learned experience. Maybe you should think about how to improve your business. Just a thought.

DFW Area Landscaper
08-29-2004, 02:55 PM
++++I think you think to much. Maybe you should think about how to improve your business. Just a thought++++

I don't think you think enough. Ever tried reading what someone says before you start cocking off?

My question was: For those who use H2B, what are the pro's and con's?

If the employees have legitimate looking doc's, why spend the money on H2B?

DFW Area Landscaper

08-29-2004, 04:45 PM
This was the problem with Pappas.

The company was charged with hiring illegal aliens and actually hiding them during raids by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The INS claims to have found a substantial degree of complicity between the employer and the undocumented workers. Some workers were even rehired by the company giving false names after having been previously arrested and deported. Under the company's plea agreement, only the company and no individuals were charged.

08-30-2004, 05:51 PM
I helped a very talented landscaper start his own business. He would handle all the outside work, I would take care of the insides stuff. I have a full time job like what I do, but was always looking for something else to get into. This seemed like a good fit.
We hire some guys that he had known, grew, and hired some labor through friends of the guys we had. All had "real looking" social security cards and alien registration cards. I used a service to check on the socials and all was well. Well, we hired a guy, put him to work while we were checking on his social. He was a great worker. Caring, hard working, reliable. He was unloading trees on a site and one of the trees started to move on him. He tried to stop it from falling off the truck. It didnt work. He fell face first, tree right on top of him. If it wasnt an overcast day, the helicopter would have to come out for him. Thats how bad he was. Bad scene. OSHA came, reviewed everything about company, site, etc. We came away fine. Now, here is where it gets interesting and why I am writing this. AIG, our workers comp. company, you know, the AAA rated largest insurer in the world, calls me and reviews the claim. The next day they call to say the claim has been DENIED. I almost dropped. Denied due to the fact the injured was in this country illegally. I nearly died. I looked at my house, my car, my wife, my daughter, my son, my business, myself, everthing was turned upside down. I was freaking out. He had already been in the hospital for more than a week, broken bones in his face, back pain....
Why am I paying this company $12,000 a year for workers comp. and the first thing they say is NO.
The first thing I did was look further into a program called H2B that I had just heard about and learned as much it as I could.
As our worker was recovering AIG decided to pay the claim. It was too late, the damage was already done. In those 2 weeks I aged 20 years.
We have been using the H2B program very successfully for the last several years. We contract with a woman who does everything for us. All we do is pay her a competative rate, sign the required documents, send them back to her, and wait for our guys. We have had the same guys return to us year after year, reducing our traing costs and gets us started easily each March, as each worker already knows the drill. Also, we have grown and she has found us extremely reliable workers from Mexico, and Cosa Rica.
I highly recommend using Luisa and the H2B program for your labor demands. Its a win win for your business(and your health) as well as the workers.
Please feel free to email me at ferngolf@optonline.net for her number or any information about H2B. I have learned a great deal about this program and would be more than happy to answer any of your questions that I can about the program.
Good luck.

DFW Area Landscaper
11-02-2004, 05:30 PM

That's what all insurance companies do...deny claims. They will pay, but they're not gonna pay you quickly. They're gonna make you sweat. That's just the way insurance companies are. Some of them make you lawyer up before they'll pay a claim.

I'm no lawyer, but I would think that the lack of official work permits would never fly in the courts. The insurance company knew what industry you were in, everyone knows the green industry is chock full of illegal workers and you paid the premiums in good faith. I would think any two bit lawyer could get a check from them on that.

Back to the original question: As far as governmenetal agencies are concerned, why pay the money for H2B visas? Why not just find someone here who has what looks like a realy social security card? What will happen when you do the federal taxes at the end of the year if the employee's social security card turns out to be bogus? Is there any danger from the IRS?

DFW Area Landscaper

11-02-2004, 06:03 PM
Damn, right when you thought, because he said so, he was gone he's right back and still :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

11-02-2004, 06:40 PM
We use H2B. Have not found any cons yet. Only pros. For once in as long as I can remember we are up to full staff with people that actually want to work and are loyal to the company.

DFW Area Landscaper
11-02-2004, 08:41 PM

I've been trying to figure out how to obtain the H2B visa. If I understand things correctly, the first step is to fill out form 570 and submit to the department of labor. Once that is approved, the next step is to file form I-129 with the Department of Immigration. Not real sure how all this visa application at the consulate's office works yet.

Here's my questions about H2B.

1.) How the heck to you interview the candidate if they're in Mexico?
2.) What do you do if the guy you hire needs to be fired? Won't it take you weeks or months to find a replacement via H2B?
3.) Is it possible to get an H2B visa for an illegal that's already here in the states?

DFW Area Landscaper

11-02-2004, 10:35 PM
You can try and do it yourself, but it is not easy. It is a pretty technical process. Timing, wording, recruiting, etc. I have talked to folks who have gone about it on their own and ended up fustrated and out alot of time and application fees. Also, the process at the consulate, as you mentioned is also very delicate. One mistake can send you back empty handed.
As far as your questions go:
1) Rely on a reliable recruiter.
2) No, it does not take weeks or months to replace.
3) No, the program is not designed to "reward" those who came here illegally in the first place with a temporary visa. The first year here for anyone is tough, but after the initial adjustment we have found that things run very smoothly. Its nice to have the same guys back year after year.

DFW Area Landscaper
11-04-2004, 10:06 AM
Just a few more questions about H2B:

1.) How much did you end up paying for an employee via the H2B program going through a recruiter?

2.) Do you have to pay the recruiter the same fee every year for each employee?

3.) I understand you are to have housing available for them the day they arrive. I'm guessing the apartment complexes won't lease to them because they have no credit (brand new ss#). Do you pretty much have to buy a house or mobile home and then become their landlord (as well as employer)?

4.) Is it possible to get a guy through H2B who can speak some english and would be able to pass the drivers license test?

5.) I understand that when the immigrant arrives, one of the first things you do is take them down to the social security office and get them a social security card. Is there something restrictive printed on the card that prevents them quitting their employment with you and going to work else where for a higher wage? I'd hate to invest all that money in a worker and have them quit. Does the social security number expire or something?

6.) What happens if one of the workers is lazy or stupid? Do you have to pay the recruiter to replace that worker? How long does it take between the time you say "you're fired" and the time the new immigrant can be at work?

7.) Do you find that these workers start to demand more and more money every year after they've seen how americans live for a few years?

8.) What kind of training time does it take to get these guys up to speed?

Lot of questions, I know. Appreciate any feedback.

DFW Area Landscaper

11-04-2004, 03:36 PM
1) First year fee $3500 for up to 20 guys, this fee went down to $2500 each subsequent year, plus $1000 premium processing fee each year for the Federal Government to expedite the case, plus about $500 for the recruitment help wanted newspaper ad (pretty expensive up here). We get about 16 guys a year, so about $310 per man the first year, and about $250 a man the next years.
2) All fees are included in the above, no other fees.
3) No. There is always housing available in and around our area for them. I have talked to others as well who say the same thing. They are not going to be in a place that requires "credit" just cash each month for the rent.
4) I travel around the country quite a bit and see more and more street signs in Spanish. The DL test here is offered in Spanish. The book to study from is in Spanish. I have not had a guy fail the DL test yet. They are generally very responsible.
5) Its not the SS number that prevents them from going elsewhere to work, its the visa. The visa has our company name on it, if he leaves we report it back to the H2B Company who lets Homeland Security know, visa is now invalid and if he shows it, he will be sent back home. Social Security card does not expire, Visa and Drivers License do.
6) Have not had lazy or stupid one yet. When I do I will let you know.
7) No. Workers are thrilled to be here for 10 months than go home to wife and kids. We had one workers wife here this year for a short period. This is permitted under the H2B program. We had another go home for a week during the summer because his mother was sick. Our guys know how valuable this is and wouldn’t jeopardize these benefits for a couple of bucks and hour. They are genuinely appreciative of what you have done and what you are doing for them.
8) Training can be a challenge if you do not have a Spanish/English speaking person to help them out. Our guys for Mexico and Costa Rico seem to be quick learners. The first year was the most challenging, but existing H2B workers has done each year since the training for new guys. New folks we have picked up over the years are usually related to the folks we already have, and therefore do not want to let them down. They also want to make a name for themselves and not disappoint.

Hope this helps.
Hey, didnt I read where you were getting of the business awhile ago? Did you reconsider or am I thinking of the wrong guy.