If you receive disability benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, you must report your earnings from work and any changes in your job, marital and living status, among other significant life changes. Here, the social security disability attorneys at Disability Associates detail the importance of reporting income and changes for Social Security disability.

What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

While both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) offer financial aid for disabled individuals, the individuals who are eligible to receive either SSDI or SSI are different. In order to qualify for SSDI, you must be a member or former member of the workforce who has accumulated a certain amount of work credits. SSI recipients must meet certain income requirements, be unemployed, not have earned enough work credits to earn SSDI or have no work history.

What Changes Must You Report for Social Security Disability (SSDI)?

If you currently collect SSDI, there are a variety of changes you need to report to the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they are applicable to your situation. Changes that you must report include if you return to work, begin collecting additional disability benefits from other sources, begin receiving a pension from a prior job or if your marital status changes.

If you begin working again, no matter what type of job, you must report this change to the SSA. If you are working and still disabled, the SSA will allow a trial period for you to work, and you will be able to continue to receive benefits for up to nine months.

If you begin collecting additional disability benefits, it is imperative to report this change to the SSA, as your monthly SSDI check may be reduced accordingly. If you begin receiving a pension from a prior job that did not pay Social Security taxes, you must notify the SSA, as your SSDI may be reduced. If your marital status changes, you must report this to the SSA, as these decisions may affect your SSDI eligibility.

What Changes Must You Report for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

If you receive SSI, you must report the following changes if they occur at any time: if the number of people you live with changes, if your living arrangements or income changes, if your resources or assets change or if your marital status changes.

Whether you move in with a friend or family member or a friend or relative moves in with you, these changes in living arrangements, as well as the number of people living with you, must be reported to the SSA, as it can affect how much “in-kind” income you receive.

If your resources or assets change, you must inform the SSA about these changes and report any new bank accounts in your name. As a candidate for SSI, you are eligible if you have up to $2,000 in assets as a single person or $3,000 in assets if you are married. If your marital status changes, you must report this change to the SSI immediately to avoid penalties.

What Happens if You Fail to Report Changes?

Failure to report changes in your living situation, income, job status and more could result in unwanted overpayments and penalties. For example, if you do not inform the SSA of a financial change and are therefore overpaid through SSI or SSDI, you will be required to pay back the money you were granted. Additionally, your benefits may be temporarily halted until you pay back your debts. You could also be penalized financially if you fail to report any significant changes to the SSA. These penalties will be taken from your monthly benefits’ payments in amounts ranging from $25-100.

Further, if the SSA discovers that you have purposefully withheld information about changes in your income, living or job status, they could potentially withhold your benefits for six months, with penalties growing in severity for each additional offense. Therefore, it is imperative to accurately report any changes that may occur and keep the SSA updated on financial, income, living and other life changes.

Speak to a Social Security Disability Attorney at Disability Associates

Knowing what changes you must report to the SSA can be confusing, and individuals can find themselves at risk of penalties and overcharges by accidentally failing to report changes in marital status, income changes, living situations and more. That is why the Social Security disability attorneys at Disability Associates are passionate about helping individuals who qualify for SSI or SSDI receive the aid they need and avoid expensive penalties and overcharges from the SSA. If you would like to speak to a dedicated Social Security disability attorney at Disability Associates, contact us today.