When you are hired at your job, one of the first things you do is complete a W-9 and a W-4. The W-9 is a request for your taxpayer ID (SSN) and the W-4 is where you make your withholding elections. You cannot get paid until you complete the W-9 and W-4.
The LOSAP is a form of compensation. Although it is not immediately paid like your paycheck, eventually you will be paid a benefit. The LOSAP is a taxable benefit, and therefore you must provide your SSN. You do have the option to waive your right to participate in the LOSAP, thereby eliminating the need to give your SSN (although you may need to provide it anyway for background checks, but that is a different story).
For the LOSAP sponsor reading this, you need to collect SSNs and you need to keep them secure. For those who have employees and are accustomed to handling this information, you are likely trained on how to keep this sensitive information secure. For those departments and fire districts that do not have paid employees, keep in mind that you still have employees - just ones that won't be paid until the LOSAP benefit kicks in. So you need the SSN of each volunteer that participates in LOSAP, and have a policy or procedure for managing all of this information.
So yes, the LOSAP sponsor needs the SSN of each volunteer. As the vendor managing your records on your behalf, we too need your SSN. To protect the information, we have the appropriate security and policies for managing this information. We also provide a secure portal to transmit this information. Protecting this information is a top priority. If you ever have any questions about this, please contact us!
Sharing my thoughts and insights on LOSAP, and occasionally other topics.