A wage verification form is defined as a document used to verify the wages (income) an employee was remunerated for services rendered for a given work period.
Fundamentally, a wage verification form will indicate the following information; employer details, employee information, employment dates, designation/job title, job description, salary, and reasons for termination.
A wage verification form is also referred to as a proof of employment letter or employment verification letter.
Any public or private organization can use the document to verify the income and employment histories of individuals of interest.
Purpose of Wage Verification Form
More often than not, a wage verification form is considered proof that a specified individual is subjected to a specified amount of wage. The requestor is able to obtain fundamental employment details and the history of an individual. The wage verification form will often be requested by prospective employers, mortgage or loan lenders, and potential landlords.
People involved in the process
The following people serve different purposes when it comes to wage verification.
- Employer – Is the party that writes a wage verification form.
- Requestor – A requestor is a party that requests the employee or employer to issue the verification form and thus is the document’s recipient.
- Employee – The employee is the individual who is the subject of the verification form.
When can Wage Verification Form be Requested
Wage verification is used in different sectors, although the primary use remains constant regardless. To initiate the verification process, you can ask for the submission of a wage verification form.
The following are different situations when you can request another individual to submit a wage verification form;
Child care assistance
Wage verification is commonly needed by child support services (DHS) in determining the appropriate amount spouses are expected to pay for upkeep. It can be presented to show that the spouse has a stable flow of income and hence can be deducted a certain amount from their income to support their child, for example, after divorce.
Mortgage providers request applicants to submit income verification forms to demonstrate their employment status and earnings, which are in turn used to determine how much mortgage an individual qualifies for financially.
Client for finance
Individuals planning to hire another party for services such as consultancy or any other business transactions can ask for wage verification to determine if the pricing given to them was fair.
Income and employment verification is an essential step of tenant screening. Landlords are therefore permitted to ask for wage verification forms from applicants to determine the applicant’s suitability. This way, landlords are able to select tenants that will not struggle in paying rent, and landlords can consequently have a stable stream of income from their investment.
Employee wages for a particular designation vary from one state to the other. Employers can request wage verification forms to determine the minimum wage to pay their potential employees and other details such as job descriptions before hiring applicants.
Lenders can ask applicants to submit wage verification forms as part of the application; this way, they are able to sort out who to award what amount of loan. Applicants with secure incomes are more suitable borrowers.
Insurance providers can use income verification when conducting follow-up inquiries to determine if the employer complied with the insurance policy, for example, compensating employees who get injured on official duty.
Government assistance programs
Wage verification can be used to select beneficiaries of certain government programs such as welfare.
In other situations where one requires verifying an individual’s salary, they can also ask for income verification.
Checking Authenticity of the Form
The authenticity of a wage verification form is important due to the importance of the document to influence decisions of approval or rejection of applicants or determining child support. Requestors need to know how to validate verification forms to them.
The following can serve as a step-by-step guide to help them know;
The initial step to take is to confirm the authenticity of the form by verifying if it contains all the relevant details that should be present in a standard income verification form.
The fundamental components of this verification form where a requestor can look for inconsistencies are;
Current employer’s name
The form should declare the name of the employer who will be providing the employment information. This can be a company, a company’s representative, or an individual.
The employee’s consent
Next, the form must have an acknowledgment from the employee. It should illustrate that the employee legally consents to the employer sharing the information with the requestor.
A legitimate verification form will always declare the capacity in which the employee works for the employer. This is the type of position the employee occupies in the company.
Employment start date
The form should also indicate the date when the employee officially commenced their duties and responsibilities. The date should be specific and declare the day, month and year.
Then, look for the employee’s earnings. The details to look out for are; the sum income, payment rates (hourly, daily, etc.), tips and bonuses the employee was entitled to, as well as the payment frequency. Check if the income has been appropriately broken down.
Also, ensure to confirm the working duration that resulted in the mentioned remuneration is indicated.
Secondly, once the form has been authenticated, the requestor can proceed to authenticate the information given in the verification form.
Authentication can be done by following the few steps as detailed below;
Look for business entity
The first step is to conduct a search on the business entity or company (the employer). Employer’s details will normally be public information which is available from the secretary of state’s office or any other office tasked to hold such information. The employer’s details will be available in their profile. Verification forms with business entities that do not appear on the government database should be flagged.
Call the employer
Next, make that call to the employer. Calling the reference indicated on the verification form gives the requestor an opportunity to seek further information as well as determine if the employer indeed is aware of the information given. Direct contact with the employer is also an effective way to check the accuracy of the contents of the document. Unavailability of the listed individual does not necessarily invalidate the document; one can ask for a call-back or an official representative of the employer.
Get past pay stubs/bank statement
As supplementary documents to the verification form, you can request an employee’s 2 weeks’ pay stub from the employer to cross-check with the information given in the verification form. Alternatively, requestors can ask the employee to submit a bank statement for the previous month. Other than verifying the person’s income, these documents illustrate the individual’s spending habits.
Tax returns of the past 2-years
In addition to the wages, requestors can also look into the employee’s tax filings and records. Normally, requestors are allowed to ask for specific tax forms. Tax forms are an efficient way of verifying if the employee has fulfilled their tax obligations which is an indicator of accountability. Tax forms are different depending on the individual’s employment – employees submit the Form W-2 IRS form while self-employed individuals submit the IRS Form 1040. The IRS Form 4506-T can also be used to verify a self-employed individual’s income in the previous fiscal year.
Check credit report
An individual’s identity and employment history can also be ascertained through a credit report. Requestors can use a background check authorization form to collect all the relevant information required to run a credit and background check.
Confirm with the secretary of the state office
Lastly, verifying the company’s location can be used if a face-to-face meeting will be necessary to validate the information on the wage verification form.
Tip: In case of checking the authenticity of the verification form of a self-employed person, a wage and tax statements for self-employed such as Form 1099, a profit and loss statement can be used.
Free Wage Verification Forms
Following are some free wage verification form templates for you to download;
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you show proof of income?
There is a wide range of documents one can present as proof of their income. These documents include pay stubs, tax return records, bank statements, wage verification letters from employers, social security benefits statements, bank statements, profit and loss statements, and court-ordered agreements.
Can you ask for the wage verification form of a military member?
Due to legal protections, verifying military personnel is not as straightforward as verifying a teacher. However, it is still possible. To confirm active-duty personnel can be done through the Defense Manpower Data Center’s Military Verification Service website for Air force personnel, provided you have the person’s name, social security, and date of birth. Sending an application to the Department of Defense or the military organization, the individual claims to work for is an option to get verification. Military wage verification cannot be done by telephone for active-duty personnel.