In order to make sure benefits are available to the people who need them most, all beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) must report their wages to the Social Security Administration (SSA). This monthly wage reporting is used to calculate the amount of your benefits, and can result in a higher or lower payment depending on financial need.
What Kinds of Income Must be Reported to Social Security?
Just as people working while on Social Security disability must report their income to the SSA, people who collect SSI payments must let the SSA know how much and how often they receive payments from other sources. Reporting should be done by the 10th of each month, and can be done over the phone, online, through the mail, or in person at your local Social Security office. If beneficiaries (or their representative payees) and their eligible family members do not report their wages monthly, they may not receive accurate or timely payments.
Each month, you must report the following to SSA:
- Your own earned income (including any overtime, vacation pay, and bonuses)
- Your spouse’s income (if he or she lives with you)
- Your parents’ income (if you're under 18 and one or both parents lives with you)
- Your sponsors’ income (if you're not a U.S. citizen)
- If your spouse, parents, or sponsors start or stop working
It's important to realize that reporting your wages isn't a bad thing, and will not necessarily result in lower payments. For instance, some types of income are not counted when calculating your SSI benefits, such as occasional work or small gifts. In addition, beneficiaries are encouraged to include their expenses on their monthly wage reports, which can actually increase their SSI payments. If you have receipts for any expenditures that make it easier for you to work, such as assistive devices or transportation costs, the SSA will deduct those payments from your income before calculating your benefits amount.
If you need help filing for Social Security benefits, call us today or fill out the form on this page to speak to one of our disability attorneys.