Maybe you’ve been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for a while, but you are ready to go back to work. Perhaps you have already started working and are not sure how the whole process works. Do you need to report your earnings to the Social Security Administration (SSA)? And, if so, will you lose your benefits?
Government programs like SSDI are complicated. Even figuring out what counts as income may be difficult without help.
Income That Must Be Reported
Generally, recipients of benefits like SSDI must report the following types of earnings to the SSA:
- Wages from employment or self-employment;
- Workers’ compensation;
- Additional public disability benefits;
- Sick pay;
- Vacation pay;
- Pensions if not covered by Social Security.
Also, you have to report conditions related to your employment like:
- When you start or stop work;
- Changes to the number of hours you work or your rate of pay;
- If you need accommodations or assistance because of your disability; and
- When you receive your pay.
Where and how you report earnings depends on the programs in which you are enrolled.
Who Is Required to Report Earnings
SSDI benefit recipients who earned wages must report them or have a representative payee do so. In addition, though, the parents, spouse, or sponsor of someone receiving SSI may be required to report their wages also.
SSDI recipients who use the Ticket to Work program are required to report earnings no more than six days after the end of the month. In fact, Ticket to Work participants generally should report their wages to the employment network or state vocational rehabilitation agency that assist them.
Failing to Report Earnings to the Social Security Administration
Ignoring this requirement could lead to an overpayment of benefits. This extra money is not a bonus, but instead is an amount that the recipient typically will have to repay to the SSA. In some cases, penalties may be added to the repayment.
It’s very important to comply with SSA rules to avoid overpayments and penalties.
It can be, especially if you receive other benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security retirement payments.
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.