When you apply for SSDI or SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines whether or not you qualify for benefits. In doing so, SSA considers the nature and severity of your medical conditions, your ability to work, your monthly income, as well as other factors. This process is followed whether you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplementary Security Income (SSI).
Once you qualify as a recipient of the benefits, you continue to receive them as long as you remain eligible. However, your eligibility can change over time. At the same time, other factors may impact the amount of benefits you receive. This is why it is important to report any relevant changes to the SSA. Here is a look at the changes you should report as an SSDI or SSI recipient, and the process to report the changes.
Reporting Changes As An SSI Recipient
If you are receiving SSI benefits, it is important that you notify the SSA about the following changes in your life:
- Change in Income: If any change has occurred in your monthly income, you must notify the SSA about it right away. If you are living with a spouse and the monthly income of the spouse has changed, you still need to inform the agency.
- Change in Resources: When determining your eligibility for SSI benefits, SSA takes into consideration any resources you own. These may include things like ready cash, stocks, bank accounts, bonds and more. As a general rule, your total resources must be valued at no more than $2,000 for you to be eligible as a single person. As a married applicant, the resources must not be valued at more than $3,000. If there are any noticeable changes in your resources, you are obliged to inform the SSA.
- Changes in Marital Status: For SSI benefits, the net income of your household is considered before you are awarded benefits. So if any changes in your marital status occur, this can impact the net household income, and consequently your eligibility. This is why SSA needs to be notified about any such changes.
- Changes in Living Arrangements: If there is a change in the number of people who live with you or your living arrangements, these must also be brought to the notice of the SSA.
Reporting Changes As An SSDI Recipient
When you are receiving SSDI benefits, you must report the following changes in your legal, financial or medical conditions:
- Change in Marital Status: As with SSI benefits, you must report if you get married or divorced as an SSDI recipient. These changes can impact your eligibility as a recipient of the disability benefits.
- Receipt of Other Disability Benefits: If you start receiving other disability benefits as an SSDI recipient, this must be reported to the SSA. In most cases, the agency will reduce the amount of disability benefits you receive if you start receiving other benefits. For instance, if you become eligible for disability benefits under workers’ compensation insurance, SSA must be informed and will likely reduce your SSDI benefits upon notice.
- Return to Work: When you are awarded SSDI benefits, SSA assumes that you are not able to earn a meaningful wage. However, if you improve over time and resume work, this must be reported to the agency. SSA will want to know the amount you earn on a monthly basis. If this amount is above a threshold for a consistent period, the agency may terminate your benefits. However, SSA allows you to continue receiving benefits for a trial period of 9 months.
- Pension from an Old Job: It is possible that you start receiving a pension from an old job you previously had. If the job did not pay Social Security taxes, you must notify SSA about the pension. SSA may then reduce your SSDI benefits based on this change in circumstance.
Hiring a Reliable Disability Lawyer in SC
If you are not sure whether to report changes in your circumstances to the SSA, we can help you. Here at Robert Surface law firm, we specialize in Social Security disability benefits. Our lawyers can work with you to determine whether a given change will impact your benefits, and whether you are legally obliged to notify the agency about the change. We also ensure that your rights and benefits are secure when interacting with SSA. Call us today to discuss your SSDI or SSI benefits with our experienced lawyers.