STEP 1: Determining Your Household Employee's Employment Eligibility

Can your household employee legally work for you? This issue is all too often overlooked but should be one of the first questions you ask a potential employee. It is unlawful to employ, or continue to employ, any person as a household employee who cannot legally work in the United States. When you hire a household employee to work for you, you are responsible for verifying that this person is legally eligible to work in the United States.

You and your household employee must each complete part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. You must verify that your employee is either a U.S. citizen or an alien who can legally work in the United States and you must keep Form I-9 for your records. A copy of Form I-9 and the USCIS Handbook for Employers is available from the USCIS’s website.

To fill out Form I-9, your household employee must give you his or her complete name and Social Security number (SSN). Later, you will also need your household employee’s SSN to complete Form W-2. If your household employee does not have an SSN, this may be a clue that she can not work legally in the United States since tax laws now require every U.S.-born citizen to apply for an SSN before the end of the calendar year in which they were born. In any event, eligible persons can get an SSN by completing Form SS-5 .

Last updated on August 30, 2022
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One Comment

  1. Wesley McGrew September 8, 2021 at 1:13 AM

    So do you actually have to file the I-9 with the government? From what I’ve read it sounds like I just need to keep it on file.

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