People who receive government benefits based on need or disability can still earn money. Some people may find part-time work. Others may have joined the Ticket to Work program as they attempt to return to work full-time. In either case, you must report wage earnings and other income to the Social Security Administration (“Social Security). Although there are several ways to report your income, we will cover reporting your wage earnings online.
Who needs to report earnings?
Anyone receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) must tell Social Security. Your income typically affects how much you will receive in cash benefits. Failing to report income can result in overpayment of benefits, which you typically have to repay.
For example, Jasmine had been receiving SSDI disability payments for several years. She began to feel well enough to return to work but was worried about losing her benefits and then having to wait months before reactivating them. Jasmine used Ticket to Work resources to get ready to support herself again. However, there were some limits on how much she could earn before her disability benefits would be reduced. Jasmine needed to report her wage earnings to Social Security to make sure they did not overpay her.
Some people have a representative payee handling their Social Security accounts. If so, your representative payee is required to report your income for you.
If you are not sure whether to report your earnings, contact your attorney or the Social Security office directly.
Do you ever have to report anyone else’s income?
Yes, especially for needs-based programs like SSI. Situations where you might tell Social Security about someone else’s earnings include:
- Your spouse lives with you, works, and earns money.
- Children receiving SSI benefits whose parents have wage earnings.
- Non-citizens with sponsors when the sponsor has earned money.
When it comes to reporting your wage earnings, online is probably the easiest method.
How can you report wage earnings online?
Before COVID-19, you could handle reporting your income in several ways:
- Calling 1-800-772-1213;
- Visiting a local Social Security office; or
- Writing to your local office.
At the time we wrote this article, Social Security offices were closed for most in-person interactions.
Some people may be able to use the following methods:
- SSI Telephone Wage Reporting System (SSITWR)
- SSI Mobile Wage Reporting (SSIMWR) Application.
The final way to report wage earnings online involves the Social Security website. Access your mySocial Security account or create an account if you don’t have one already. Then follow the prompts to report your income.
It’s Complicated, so Give Us a Call.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSDI and SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.