Why Collect Social Security Numbers?

While Social Security Numbers are not required to be collected, HUD recommends that every client's SSN be entered into Clarity HMIS. According to HUD, "Where data are shared across projects, the Social Security Number (SSN) greatly facilitates the process of identifying clients who have been served and allows projects to de-duplicate at project start...Name and date of birth are useful unique identifiers, but the SSN is significantly more accurate." (Quote from HUD's FY 2022 HMIS Data Standards Manual - Version 1.2 (hudexchange.info)section 3.02 (pg 69), Social Security Number.)

Data Sharing and Social Security Numbers

By signing the HMIS Privacy Notice & Client Consent Form, clients agree to share their personal information. The shared information includes:

  • Name
  • Age/Date of Birth
  • SSN (Full SSN is obscured so it is not passively shared in Clarity, but a log is created to System Administrators can identify a user who accesses a client's full SSN.)
  • Gender
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Veteran status
  • HMIS Unique Identifier

This information is not required and might be shared if the client has provided the information and consents to sharing information in HMIS. 

  • Contact information 
  • Emergency Contact Information 
  • Pet details 
  • Client address/location 
  • Veteran details

Social Security Numbers are important to support the unique identification of each person served and some projects require a full SSN. Clarity obscures the SSN to prevent passive sharing. Follow the steps below to see a client's complete SSN in Clarity. Please note an audit log is created any time a Clarity user views an SSN.

Viewing the SSN in Clarity

To display the entire SSN, hover your mouse over the privacy shield. A small box will appear; click on the "Edit" button. 

You can then read the full SSN and make changes if necessary. 

SSN and the Data Quality Marker

After entering a full, partial, or placeholder SSN, the correct Data Quality Marker must be selected to reflect the quality of the information entered.  If "Full SSN Recorded" is selected, and the same partial or placeholder (000-00-0000) number is entered on two or more client profiles, Clarity will merge those profiles and enrollment data into one profile.

Contact Information

If you need help, or wish to offer suggestions or feedback, please contact the Cincinnati/Hamilton County HMIS Support team at HMISsupport@end-homelessness.org or by calling 513-263-2790 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).

When contacting HMIS support about a particular client, please do not send personal identifiable information such as social security numbers, medical information, or other data that can be used to identify a client. Instead, use the Clarity Unique ID.