CCW Beneficiary ID

SAS Name

The unique CCW identifier for a beneficiary.  The CCW assigns a unique beneficiary identification number to each individual who receives Medicare and/or Medicaid, and uses that number to identify an individual’s records in all CCW data files (e.g., Medicare claims, MAX claims, MDS assessment data).  This number does not change during a beneficiary’s lifetime and each number is used only once.The BENE_ID is specific to the CCW and is not applicable to any other identification system or data source. 


All CMS data files released by the Chronic Condition Ware house (CCW) include a unique beneficiary identification number. This number can be used to link all data associated with one individual across all CCW CMS Medicare and Medicaid individual level files.

In the CCW data documentation, this variable always has the SAS name of “BENE_ID”. The variable name, however, has changed across time and files. All of the names or labels listed below are actually for the same data variable, given the SAS name of BENE_ID. Regardless of the name or label, when the SAS name is BENE_ID, the data element can be used to link records for one Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary across all CCW data files.

Encrypted CCW Beneficiary ID

Beneficiary Identification Number

CCW Beneficiary ID

CCW Encrypted Beneficiary ID Number

CCW Beneficiary ID (Encrypted)

 Encrypted 723 Beneficiary ID

 Encrypted 723 CCW Beneficiary ID

 Encrypted 723 Beneficiary ID (Unique Key)

External Resources

For details of the beneficiary identification number, BENE_ID, please see Chapter 7 of the CCW Medicare Administrative Data User Guide . Additional details for the assignment of a BENE_ID in the CMS Medicaid data can be found in Chapter 1 of the CCW MAX User Guide.