Reporting Income Changes to Social Security: How it Affects Your Disability Benefits

For those currently receiving Social Security Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income, reporting changes in your income or living situation to the Social Security Administration (SSA) is essential for a number of reasons.

As one of the leading SSI disability lawyers in Waco and Temple, TX, Merryl Jones and the team from Second Chance Lawyer have helped many retain their disability benefits even if their income and living situations have changed. Here’s how!


What Type of Income Needs to Be Reported?

 There are several different types of income that need to be reported to the SSA regardless of whether your circumstances have changed or not, including:

  • Earned Income:

    This includes whatever you’re paid by an employer, as well as any royalties and freelance income, and patents from copyrights.

  • Unearned Income:

    Unearned income consists of unemployment benefits, dividends, cash gifts, pensions, and Social Security retirement benefits.

  • Deemed Income:

    This type of income includes any income that has been earned by a spouse, sponsor, or parent(s).

  • In-Kind Income:

    In-kind income is a form of income that is delivered not in cash, but in another form, such as a free place to stay or free meals, etc.


What if I’m Working While Receiving Benefits?

 It’s important to note that under any circumstance, someone receiving Social Security Disability benefits is unable to work a full-time job. If you start working part-time while on disability insurance, however, you’re required to report this income to the SSA as soon as possible.

You’ll also need to report:

  • Vacation Pay
  • Sick Pay
  • Disability Payments Received through State Programs
  • Workers Compensation Benefits
  • Pensions from civil service, foreign government jobs, state, and local pension systems


Your Benefit Payments May Be Reduced Depending on the Income You Earn

 It’s essential to keep in mind that anyone making more than $1,310 per month may have their disability benefits revoked. The Social Security Administration may determine, due to the amount of money you’re making, that you may not be disabled.

Other Important Things You’ll Need to Report to the SSA

 In addition to your income, there are also other major life changes you’ll need to report to the SSA, should they happen, that may affect your benefits. These include:

  • If You Get Married or Divorced:

    This is most important if you receive Social Security Disability benefits based on your spouse’s income. If there’s a change in your marital status, or your spouse has become deceased, you’ll need to notify them of any change in this status.

  • Changes in Living Arrangements:

    Changes in your living arrangements, such as the number of people you live with, are also important to convey to the SSA.


Are There Penalties for Not Reporting Changes?

 There are penalties you can incur from not reporting the changes mentioned above. To avoid overpayment of penalties and benefits, you need to report any changes no later than 10 days after the month the change has occurred. If for some reason you do receive an overpayment of benefits, you’ll need to pay this money back to the SSA.

Additionally, if you have incurred an overpayment penalty, the entirety of your Social Security Benefits may be withheld until all of the overpayment fees have been paid back. This period will occur 30 days after you’ve been notified that you’ve received an overpayment.

You may also be penalized for failure to report any of the changes mentioned above. This could result in a reduction of your monthly payments until the issue is addressed. You can lose up to two years of benefits and face charges for fraud in more serious cases.


For an experienced disability lawyer, contact us today!

 Merryl Jones from Second Chance Lawyer has helped many receive the disability benefits they deserve and appeal claims for disability denials. If you believe there’s been a change in your status, working with a disability lawyer can help ensure you have all of your bases covered and avoid any costly fees.

For more information, please contact Second Chance Lawyer online today or call (254) 776-3611 (Waco) or (254) 493-0345 (Temple).