Disability, General Questions, Retirement, Survivors

Reporting Changes is Your Responsibility

December 10, 2015 • By

a picture of a hand on a laptop keyboard. If you receive benefits from Social Security, you have a legal obligation to report changes, which could affect your eligibility for disability, retirement, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. You must report any changes that may affect your benefits immediately, and no later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred.

Changes you need to report range from a change of address to traveling outside the United States for 30 consecutive days. To get a list of reporting responsibilities under disability, please read our publication What You Need to Know When You get Social Security Disability Benefits, and for SSI, read What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income. If you’re receiving retirement benefits, What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits is also helpful.

Life changes can affect your benefits. You may be due additional payments, or you may be overpaid and have to pay us back because you didn’t report the overpayment in a timely manner. The SSI program may apply a penalty that will reduce your benefits if you fail to report a change, or if you reported the change later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred. If you fail to report changes in a timely way, or if you intentionally make a false statement, we may stop your SSI, disability, and retirement benefits. We may also impose a sanction against your payments. The first sanction is a loss of payments for six months. Subsequent sanctions are for 12 and 24 months.

You can report your change online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or by calling toll free at 1-800-772-1213. If you’re deaf or hearing-impaired call TTY 1-800-325-0778. Mail the information to your local Social Security office or in person if you prefer. If you receive SSI, you should ask about our options to use the automated toll-free SSI Telephone Wage Reporting Service or the free SSI Mobile Wage Reporting Smartphone app.

If you receive benefits and need to change your address or direct deposit, you can conveniently do so by creating a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Get the right check, in the right amount, at the right time, by reporting changes right away!


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Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications

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  1. Judy

    Hello, I am the POA for my mother. She receives SS and Veteran benefits. She passed recently. Where/Who do I notify to stop the benefits? I know I need a death certificate, which I don’t have yet. Just where to get started. Thank You

    Reply
    • Vonda

      We are very sorry for your loss, Judy. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office. To verify this information was reported, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

      Check out our Factsheet on How Social Security Can Help When a Family Member Dies.

      Reply
  2. Woodrow Spencer

    Does unemployment benefits affect my SSDI?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Woodrow, thank you for your question. Unemployment benefits do not affect or reduce Social Security retirement and disability benefits. State unemployment compensation payments are not wages because they are paid due to unemployment rather than employment. However, income from Social Security may reduce your unemployment compensation. Contact your state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction.

      Reply
  3. Robert

    My mom is on SSA and SSI and she received the stimulus payment. Is this considered income and is she required to report it?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Robert. For SSI recipients, Social Security will not consider the Economic Impact Payments as income and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more details. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. EILEEN DUKE

    My sister receives SSDI and her boyfriend receives SSI. They have kids in common and one receives SSI himself, so social security already has their income for the household. If they get married will it reduce their income?

    Reply
    • Sue

      Hi, Eileen. Thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for how marriage may affect benefits for your sister’s boyfriend and their child who receives SSI. If your sister has specific questions about her family’s situation, please have her call her local office. She’ll find the phone number using our Social Security Office Locator. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  5. Mary

    Hi, I receive a small monthly pension payment from the state of Illinois. This amount increased by $11.00 each month. What do I need to do so my social security payment is adjusted due to the pension payment increase in 2021?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Mary, thanks for using our blog. You can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  6. Rickey James

    how long does the withdraw application process take so I can reapply correctly?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Rickey, thanks for using our blog. You would need to ask your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  7. Cheryl

    I would like federal tax withheld from my social security check. How can I do this?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Cheryl. You can download the form or call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-3676 and ask for Form W-4V. When you complete the form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 12, or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld for taxes. Mail the completed, signed form to your local Social Security office. Use our Social Security Office Locator to obtain their mailing address.

      Check out our Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits web page for more information. We hope this is helpful!

      Reply
      • Kathleen Conklin

        Thank-You for this information. I need to change the amount of my current withholding on my SS benefit. Have not had much luck, so hopefully this get me where I need to be 😃…

        Reply
  8. Alice

    Hello, my husband past away recently , how do I report to SSA ? Cant reach them for this past days.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      We are very sorry for your loss, Alice. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office. To verify this information was reported, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.

      Check out our Factsheet on How Social Security Can Help When a Family Member Dies.

      There is a one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 that can be paid to the surviving spouse. You would need to call and make an appointment to file for that benefit. If you do not want to file for widow’s benefits at that time, you do not have to. Once you’re ready to receive widow’s benefits, you will need to call again to make an appointment.

      Check out our If You Are The Survivor web page for details. We hope this helps!

      Reply

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