Online Services, SSI

Why It’s Important to Report Life Changes to Us

July 28, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: November 2, 2023

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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, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. John C.

    I am retiring at the end of this year – 2022.
    Should I notify SS of a change in life?
    If am am no longer employed, will my beneifits be affected or change in 2023?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, John. Thanks for your question. If you’re working, we usually ask you to estimate your earnings for the year. If later you realize your earnings will be higher or lower than you estimated, let us know as soon as possible so we can adjust your benefits. See the section titled, “Working and getting Social Security at the same time” in our publication,  What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits, for help in making accurate estimates. We hope this helps. 

  2. George R.

    I have been on Disability Income for over 10 years. I turned 65 at the end of Dec. 2021. As I’m already receiving benefits, do I need to do anything? Been calling & waiting for days with the S.S. phone system & I just want to insure there is no interruption in benefits as it is my only source of income. Geo. R

    • Ann C.

      Hi, George. It sounds like you are referring to what happens when you reach full retirement age. If so, when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the benefit amount remains the same. Hope this helps. 

  3. Janice T.

    Cancel social security for Delores Capanoli immediately. She passed away October 25th and I would like to send a copy of Death Certificate. I am a friend of hers and wanted to make sure that they do not send any more of her checks to Chase Bank. Please rescind payment received on December 3rd.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Janice. We are sorry to hear about your loss. For security, we do not have access to private information in this venue.  Typically, the funeral director notifies us directly to report a death. To verify, you can contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  4. Patrick L.

    The Social Security Administration should allow customers to schedule an appointment with their local office online! Instead I sit for hours waiting for someone to answer the phone call. The local office did call me but I didn’t hear it so I called it back they left. After an hour waiting they finally came up and said call the national number instead. So I’ve wasted Two hours now because the national number has been busy for almost an hour! Shocking how inefficient this is.
    Last year around this time we were thinking of moving but every time we found a house it was gone within a day. I didn’t want to be homeless so I bought a condo and they wanted cash. So I took it out of my 401k plan. Ends up it is treated as ordinary income so now I had a huge tax bill and they jacked my Medicare premium almost 3x of what it was. They sent a letter stating that I made too much and social security is my only monthly income! On top of that I watched my investments get cut in half because they raised the interest rates, thus driving down the stock market. Savings accounts barely pay any interest as do CDs or any other investments. So messed up. Oh, and then I have to take more money out of the 401k to pay the tax bill as it rolls into the next year. Terrible system. You work all your entire life and do everything right only to have them take it away. Messed up.

  5. Joe I.

    Good afternoon,
    I have been having taxes withheld from my monthly benefits. I stopped working on the 11th of November. I would like to stop having taxes withheld, as I no longer am receiving a paycheck. How would I go about this, as I would like this to start on January, 1st, 2023?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Joe. Thanks for your question. In order to have taxes withheld or to change the amount of your withholding from your Social Security benefit, you must start by printing, completing and submitting an IRS Voluntary Withholding Request Form (Form W-4V). On this form, you can choose to have 7, 10, 12, or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld. The Form W-4V (to withhold federal taxes from your Social Security benefits) can be returned to your local Social Security office by mail. See our Benefits Planner: Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits web page for more information. We hope this helps.

  6. 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.


  7. 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. 

  8. 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. 

  9. 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.

  10. 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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