Online Services, SSI

Why It’s Important to Report Life Changes to Us

July 28, 2022 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 18, 2022

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Did you know that certain life changes can affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments? Sometimes your circumstances may change after you apply for or begin to receive SSI. When that happens, it’s important for you to tell us about these changes. This will ensure that you receive the benefits to which you’re eligible.

Types of Changes to Report if You Have Applied for or Receive SSI

When you apply for or get SSI, you must tell us about certain changes. You must also tell us about changes for your spouse if you are married and living together, and parents if applying for a child. Common changes you must report to us include:

  • Change in income.
  • Change in resources (including bank accounts, vehicles, or property).
  • Change in employment (i.e., starting, stopping, or changing jobs).
  • Change in your address or persons moving in or out of the household.
  • Entering or exiting a nursing home.
  • Entering or exiting a correctional institution (i.e., jail or prison).
  • Change in U.S. citizenship or lawful non-citizen status.
  • Change in marital status.

For a complete list of SSI reporting responsibilities, please read the following publication:

How to Report Changes in Wages

You can conveniently report your wages using our:

Be sure to sign up for monthly SSI wage reporting emails or text reminders. If you prefer, you may also report changes by:

Report Changes in a Timely Manner

If you do not report changes to us in a timely manner, you may be underpaid and not receive the amount due as quickly or be overpaid and have to pay us back.

The SSI program may apply a penalty that will reduce your benefits if you fail to report a change. You may also be penalized if you report the change later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred or lose SSI for not reporting the information we use to determine eligibility for payments.

Securing today and tomorrow starts with being informed. Please share this information with your friends and family—and post it on social media.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. TK

    I have received SSI since 2011. I lived with my parents, my dad passed away in 2013, and my mom passed in September of this year. I never reported this to Social Security because I wasn’t aware I had to. My older brother is now living with me in the same house I’ve always lived in. I am scheduled for a review in December, Will this be a problem? I never intentionally did not report because I wasn’t aware I needed to report it as my living situation and money has not changed regardless. I still pay my share if household expenses and purchase my own food separately. Also, do credit cards count as income or resources?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, TK. We are sorry to hear about your loss. Unfortunately, your questions are a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.


  2. Valerie C.

    My husband was on complete disability he recently passed. I am working. Do I qualify for widow benefit? I am over 65 but still work

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Valerie. We are sorry to hear about your loss. If you are also eligible for retirement benefits, but haven’t applied yet, you have the option to apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit later. Also, keep in mind, There are limits on how much survivors may earn while they receive benefits. For more information, please visit our Survivors Planner. We hope this helps. 

  3. Debbie

    Do we have to report if we make less than the monthly earning limit if we retire prior to our FRA? I have been working part time and earning less than the $1630.00 monthly limit. I kept finding ref on the SS website that we were supposed to report but I was told by at least four different SS Reps, that I called and spoke to in different months, that I did not need to report it, because it was less than the monthly limit. And I would only file taxes at the end of the year to receive a refund if I overpaid taxes on the earned income.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Debbie. Thanks for your question. If you think your earnings for 2022 will be different from what you originally told us, let us know right away. For more information about how work may affect your benefits and what to report, please check out our publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits. We hope this helps. 

  4. May

    I was a single Mother who changed my life for the better, along the way had some health issues and addressed them the best way I could, after 10 years of asking for help for my ailments, I am left unemployed, unofficially disabled, on county aide, waiting for SSI to approve me, .. my doctor’s ordered MRI’s, X-rays, and scans within the last 1.. I did everything to prevent this very situation and yet it still happened. I was determined to show my children that there schooling, education,diet and time spent with Family mattered. This is not a happy post, I lost everything because I didn’t want to believe that my Doctor’s and Employers didn’t care for my Well-being and had little regard to Policy, Procedure, or Ethics. Only thing I can say is be your own advocate,.. journal ur issues weather at work or ur health, and not to forget there is help out there,… I haven’t found it yet but I do believe.

  5. James

    I am on disability and was married. I’m getting divorced do I need to report that also am I able to receive ssi and my disability at the same time since I am divorced

    • Ann C.

      Hi, James. To determine if you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), please contact your local Social Security office. Thanks! 


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