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

Comments

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  1. Jena G.

    I am on ssi I have been paying for a overpayment for a year and 5 months its cut my benefits to where I really struggle to pay my bills can’t even afford food I receive $76 snap benefits but food is so expensive doesn’t buy much I have lost 70 or 80 lbs from lack of food I am at the end of my rope don’t know what to do

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jena. We are sorry to hear about your situation. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • giniS

        i didn’t receive my SSI deposit today.. what am i supposed to do?
        i recieved nothing in the mail, no phone calls!!

        Reply
        • Ann C.

          Hi, GiniS. We are sorry to hear that. If you do not receive your electronic payment on the scheduled pay date, please contact your bank or financial institution first. If you still need to report a late, missing, or stolen Social Security payment, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. Thanks!

          Reply
  2. Marie

    My father is 87 years old both he and my mother have been living on their own. He was diagnosed with parkison and they both need assistance at home. Both get only the regular social security benefits they have received for years. Does the social security office have any resources available for them to receive additional assistance?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Marie. We are sorry to hear about your father’s condition and your parents’ situation. They may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which they live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in their area and find out if they qualify, they will need to contact their state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  3. Jan B.

    I was a victim of Identity Theft in April, 2018, I frankly did not handle the whole situation very well – it was truly awful for the next few years. When continual law enforcement was here, all of them commented on my deteriorating vision as I tried to assist them. They were right and NOW I AM ALMOST TOTALLY BLIND. I am 80 years old soon and have collected SS for 15 years. Is there a change in my benefit due to the blindness? And if so – how do I report it? I am homebound (mandatory) and have no help at all. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jan. We are sorry to hear about your experience and situation. We do not base your Social Security benefit amount on the severity of your condition. We base it on your average lifetime earnings. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Dave

    After a Level 4 cancer diagnosis in 2020 and several surgeries for CSF within the same period, I was encouraged to retire. (I underwent treatment and thankfully, am in remission as of this past April.)

    In January of 2021, I had just turned 63 when I retired and receive the 80% amount ($24,312 gross). Now my wife, who also retired at the same time as I did to help with driving me to/from treatments, is wanting to also pull SSI. She qualifies for SSI as she has the work credits from her own career. She will be 63 in November and she wants to apply then. We can’t figure out what her benefit will be. Will she receive 1/2 of mine? Can anyone help answer our que

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Dave. Thanks for visiting our blog and good news on your improved health. For your wife to qualify for spouse’s benefits, you must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. Keep in mind that if she qualifies for her own benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay her own benefits first. If her benefits as a spouse are higher than her own benefits, she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Also, if she begins receiving benefits between age 62 and herr full retirement age, the amount is permanently reduced by a percentage based on the number of months up to her full retirement age. For more information, please visit our Benefits Planner page. We hope this helps. 

       

      Reply
  5. Samantha M.

    How do I make an appointment to show change in citizenship or can I just walk in somewhere?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Samantha. Thanks for visiting our blog. Most local offices have resumed in-person service for people without an appointment. Customers who walk in without appointments may encounter delays. Visit How to Get Help from Social Security to learn more, including what to know if you need to visit an office. To learn what documents you need to update your citizenship status, please visit here. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Dionne S.

    I have been waiting online for about 45 mins. only to be disconnected. I am trying to change my name on my SS card. Can I do it online if I have my marriage license.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Dionne. Thanks for visiting our blog. For information about how and what to submit for a name change on your Social Security card, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. Also, keep in mind, most local offices have resumed in-person service for people without an appointment. Customers who walk in without appointments may encounter delays. Visit How to Get Help from Social Security to learn more, including what to know if you need to visit an office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  7. Karen

    While waiting on the phone I thought I would send my question. How are benefits affected if one is on disability and the other is on survivor benefits? Both are 65 years old.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Karen. Thanks for visiting our blog. It sounds like you are referring to how marriage may affect your benefits. If you receive retirement or Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, your marriage will not affect your benefit. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), widow or widower’s benefits, your marriage may affect your benefit. To learn more about how marriage affects benefits, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Karen

        Hello Ann,

        I need to talk with someone. I called yesterday and finally got thru to someone. They told me that neither of us would be affected.

        Thank you

        Reply
      • Marion T.

        How does the trial to work period work while waiting for benefits approval for SSDI?

        Reply
        • John J.

          Trial work periods begin after one is approved for disability. Working can effect your SSI or a pending decision on a new claim.

          Reply
        • Ann C.

          Hi, Marion. Thanks for your question. The Trial Work Period allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months if you are already receiving Social Security Disability Benefits. For more information, check out our publication, Working While Disabled: How We Can Help. We hope this helps. 

           

          Reply
  8. Linda J.

    I had my right big toe amputated on 12/09/22 was I suppose to report it

    Reply
    • John J.

      Only if you have a disability claim pending or are undergoing a review of your disability.

      Reply
  9. Terri S.

    My ex husband will be retiring soon and starting getting his social security. How do i go about earning off of his social security? We were married 17 years. I am currently on SSDI.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Terri. Thanks for visiting our blog. To be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, you had to be married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, be age 62 or older, and you cannot be eligible for a higher benefit on your own record. For more information on how to qualify for divorced spouse benefits, visit our Benefits Planner. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  10. Rebekah S.

    I recently accepted a passive income opportunity. How do I report this and will it affect my benefits?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Rebekah. Thank you for visiting our blog. It really depends on what type of benefits you receive to determine how work may affect your benefits. For information about working temporarily without losing monthly Social Security disability or SSI benefits, check out our publication, Working while Disabled- How We Can Help. If you are receiving retirement or survivors benefits and you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than the yearly earnings limit, we may reduce your benefit amount. If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2022, that limit is $19,560. For more information, please visit our Receiving Benefits While Working page. We hope this helps. 

      Reply
    • John J.

      Passive income such as rental income have nothing to do with SS under Title II. Any change in income or resources over the allowable limit has to be reported if you get SSI, Title XVI.

      Reply

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