Online Services, SSI

Why It’s Important to Report Life Changes to Us

July 28, 2022 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

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, Acting Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Comments

  1. Lidia

    Iv been married almost 14 yrs and didn’t report to social security office. I want to report it now . What do I do

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Lidia. Thanks for visiting our blog. 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. Anthony G.

    I received SSI and I stay with a relative been staying there 3 years paying my half on everything leaving me with nothing much left after. I sincerely need help finding my own place could somebody please help me in this matter. Thank You Anthony Green

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Anthony. 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.

  3. Madever

    Resident of Florida and receive the max in SSI and $96 in food stamps. Rent went from $445 to $800 a month. Will my stamps increase when I report the change and who do I report the change to?

  4. Chongsathitphorn S.

    Hi:

    Please stop my SSI payments, I got sick in Thailand. I will return SSI after I go back US.

    Thanks

    Sathit

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Chongsathitphorn. We are sorry to hear about your condition. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. Since you are living outside of the U.S., please contact your local  Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

  5. Dan H.

    I reduced work hours in 2022. Can I file Form SSA-44 online to report the change?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Dan. Thanks for your question. If your income has gone down and the change makes a difference in the income level we consider, contact us to explain that you have new information. For more information, please visit our Premiums: Rules for Higher-Income Beneficiaries page. We hope this helps. 

  6. Cynthia B.

    How do you know if you have SSI or SSDI? Because I may get married within the next cople of years. If I do, what new information do you need? Will it affect my monthly benefit? I was considered disabled in 2017.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Cynthia. Thanks for your questions. 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. To determine what type of benefits you are receiving, 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. Johnell J.

    I recently got court ordered custody of my 2 children in August 2022, through Social Services. They were placed with me rather than they go in the system. In September the court placed them with me until February 2023.
    should I have reported this?

    With so much going on with an autistic child 8 yrs. old and a 2 year old, I just didn’t think of it.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Johnell. Thanks for visiting our blog. 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.

  8. Brian K.

    How can I update an ill family member’s address to a nursing home? The my Social Security online program does not seem to allow someone with a Power of Attorney to sign up for an account on the person’s behalf.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Brian.  Thanks for your question.  If your family member needs help managing their benefits, you may be interested in applying to become their representative payee. As a representative payee, you will have access to your family member’s records and the ability to update their account information. 

      Typically, a face-to-face interview is required when applying to be someone’s representative payee. If your family member cannot be present, a statement from their doctor would be helpful. The statement should say that they are not able to -mentally and physically- manage their Social Security benefits and identify you as the person responsible to keep their finances in order. Please note that having a “Power of Attorney” does not give you legal authority to manage payments for someone receiving Social Security or SSI benefits.

      Please read our publication, A Guide For Representative Payees,  for more information. If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment with the local Social Security office, please 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.

  9. Ester L.

    If I get married and I have medicare part A&B will that effect my medicare benefits?

    If I pass away can my spouse collect my SS benefits and at what age he need to be?

    Do he collect after he retirer if working, will he be able collect the highest out of the two?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ester. Thanks for your questions. First, marriage does not affect Medicare 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. Second, your husband would be eligible to apply for survivor benefits at age 60 (age 50 or over if disabled). For more information, visit our Planning For Your Survivors page. For additional 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.

      • Cristian F.

        Help ssn

        • Cristian F.

          Well frago

      • Theresa M.

        Dear friends I want my check stop going to the bank somebody got a hold of my account and I want them to send me a paper check please

        • Ann C.

          Hi, Theresa. We are sorry to hear about your situation. 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.

  10. M. A.

    I applied for SS in Dec. 2020, I applied because of age (62), I am a veteran and at that time I was receiving disability benefits, I applied by phone because of COVID, but I told the person who answered my phone that I was a disabled veteran.
    My question is, I just found out that I could have applied for SS disability due to the 90% I have in VA, is it possible, after 2 years to change the disability retirement benefit?

    • Ann C.

      Hi. First of all, we thank you for your service to this country. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability. Please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veterans benefits. We do offer expedited processing of certain disability claims for military service members. You can learn more about our Wounded Warriors program and how to apply by visiting our  Information for Military and Veterans page.  We hope this helps. 

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