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Reporting Responsibilities after Social Security Disability Approval

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  18 Comments

Learn what you have to report to the Social Security Administration to avoid Social Security Disability overpayments and to get all benefits payable.

social-security-disability-approvalKnow Your Responsibilities

Once you receive a Social Security Disability approval, your contact with the Social Security Administration is not over. It is important to report changes in your situation that could affect your getting your monthly benefit on time or your ability to avail yourself of Social Security’s several work incentive programs. Additionally, prompt report of changes in your health or work activity can help you avoid overpayments.

16 Events to Report

1. Your medical condition improves enough that you could work if you wanted to and work was available.

2. You take a job or become self-employed—no matter how little you earn. Let the SSA know how many hours you expect to work and how much you will be earning. Also, report if your employer, duties, or wages change. If you have not recovered, you may be eligible for the SSA’s work-incentive programs and continued SSDI benefits. See our video “Can I Keep Getting Benefits When I Am Working on Social Security Disability?”

3. You become eligible to receive worker’s compensation or disability retirement or regular retirement from a public employer. This should be reported whether you receive monthly benefits or a lump sum settlement as your Social Security Disability benefits will have to be recalculated.

4. You are offered vocational services under the SSA’s Ticket to Work Program.

5. Your benefits change or stop and you haven’t received a notification.

6. You and/or your family members who are getting Social Security benefits plan to move. If the SSA is unable to contact you, your benefit payments will stop. Tell the SSA the effective date of your new address and new phone number. Of course, also inform your local post office of your change of address.

7. Your benefit is being paid via direct deposit into your financial institution account and you change institutions. Report the name of the new institution and new account number to which you want your benefits sent. Allow 30-60 days for the SSA to revise their records. Keep your present bank account open until your SSDI benefit is received at your new financial institution.

8. You get married or divorced. If you are receiving disability dependents or survivor’s benefits on a spouse’s or parent’s earnings record, your benefits may stop if you marry or divorce. If you are receiving benefits on your own earnings record, marriage may qualify your new spouse and your step-children for benefits after a year’s waiting period.

9. You change your name by marriage or court order. If you do not notify the SSA right away, your benefits will continue to be issued under your old name and, if you have direct deposit, payments may not reach your account. If your SSDI benefits are being deposited onto an SSA-issued Direct Express® debit card, you might have problems using the card to make purchases or withdraw cash if the name on your identification is different from the name on your card.

10. You’ve been receiving benefits because you were caring for a worker’s child younger than age sixteen or a disabled adult child and the child has left your care. Notify the SSA immediately and provide the name and address of the person with whom the child is now living. (A temporary separation may not affect your benefits if you continue to have parental control over the child, such as sending a child to stay with a relative for a short while, but your benefits will stop if you no longer have responsibility for the child.) Be sure to report your situation to the SSA so they can determine whether you continue to be eligible for benefits.

11. You become the parent of a child including an adopted child after you qualify for benefits. The SSA will determine whether the child qualifies for dependents benefits.

12. You were caring for a child who was receiving benefits and the child has been adopted by someone else. Notify the SSA of the child’s new name, the date of the adoption decree, and the adopting parent’s name and address. The adoption will not cause the child’s benefits to stop, and in rare circumstances the child might be eligible for a higher benefit under a combined family maximum.

13. A family member who is receiving Social Security benefits dies. Also, make arrangements for someone to report to the SSA if you die while receiving benefits. Benefits are not payable for the month of death, so if a benefit payment is received for the month of death, it must be returned to the SSA. For example: If the person dies in July, the payment received in August, which is for July, must be returned. If direct deposit is used, notify the financial institution of the death, so it can return any payments that are not due. Note:Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors’ benefits when a person getting disability benefits dies.

14. You are convicted of a crime and are incarcerated for more than thirty continuous days after your confiscation, your benefits wills top.  Similarly, benefits are not paid to persons confined in a mental institution or other facility in lieu of being jailed after a conviction or after being found innocent due to insanity or unfit to stand trial. While you’re confined, the SSA will not pay you disability benefits; however, any family members eligible for benefits based on your earnings record may continue to receive their benefits.

15. You violate a condition of parole or probation imposed under federal or state law. Regular disability benefits or any underpayment due will not be paid for any month in which the violation occurs or continues.

16.You leave the United States for thirty days or more and would like your benefit payments sent abroad. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can travel to or live in most foreign countries without affecting your benefits; however, benefits cannot be sent to Cuba or North Korea. Withheld benefits can be paid to you once you leave these countries to live in another country. If you are not a U.S. citizen, more extensive restrictions apply.

Reporting Tips and Cautions

  1. Be prepared to give the date of any of the event you are reporting occurred.
  2. Have your SSDI claim number ready, it will be on the Award Notice you received when your claim was approved. If you receive benefits based on your own work, your claim number will be the same as your Social Security number followed by the letters “HA.” If you receive benefits based on someone else’s work, your claim number will be the worker’s Social Security number followed by “H” and a letter that shows your relationship to the worker.
  3. Take reporting seriously. If you become overpaid because you did not a report an event, you will have to repay the excess money. Also, if the SSA learns that you purposely gave them incomplete or false information or purposely failed to report a change that caused you to be overpaid, your benefits could be stopped and a financial penalty imposed. You could even be charged with fraud.

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  • jessica

    I usually report wages on the 1st or 2nd of each month. I for some reason thought today was April 1st but it is actually march 31st and I reported wages using the app on my phone today one day early. What can happen because of my mistake? What should I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      If you provided the dates for which you were paid, reporting early should not cause a problem.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay one other thing, my wife already has an auto in her name should I decide to purchase another should I put it only in her name or does it matter if both of our names are on them ? is there any penalty for me to buy an auto ? thanks again.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jody,

      Please see my response of a few minutes ago.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay, I received my first SSD check recently, I have an opportunity to purchase a better more reliable auto than what I have. Do I need to report this to anyone if I do buy the another auto ? thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jody,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, the only things you have to report are those listed in the article on this website under which you posted your question. What you own does not affect your benefits. Work income affects benefits only if it reaches the level of substantial gainful activity (SGA) in more than nine months, but all work should be reported. The only unearned income that must be reported is worker compensation and certain government pensions based on government employment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris

    Hi, I receive ssi benefits and I also work. I reported my wages late which was after the 6th of the month. Will I still receive my benefits for this month? Will it just be late? As I reported them around 20th will I just receive my benefits later in the month?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      As long as your income is low enough that you remain eligible for benefits, your income in one month is used to calculate your benefits two months later. The reason to report on time is to allow Social Security time to recalculate your benefit in time to have your benefits paid in the correct amount. Reporting October earnings on the 20th of November will result in December’s payment being in the wrong amount, unless you earned exactly the same as the month before, you have been either underpaid or overpaid for December.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rose m smith

    I have a sister who is on SSI she i has schizophrenia and is a manic depressive. She quit her meds and her son takes her card and buys drugs she has been in and out of the mental over the last 3 months. How do we get a representative for her please help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      You can apply to be your sister’s payee and report what is going on. It would be helpful to have a statement from her physician about her inability to handle her funds. Another approach would be to help her set up a bank account to which her funds could be sent and not have the bank issue a debit card to the account. That way her son would not be able to withdraw money from her account.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Violet Macon

    Hi Kay. I received an award letter yesterday it said that my daughters application was approve but they didn’t have benefits to give her because it was all paid to her father he received disability benefits. The date said February 2014 but he didn’t receive nothing til February 2015. The letter also said that as her representative payee if she get payments in the future. I don’t understand this letter at all can you help. Does this ran she won’t get the back pay but will start receiving monthly benefits.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Violet,

      I believe that the letter means that your daughter’s claim was approved in the sense that she has proved that she is her father’s daughter; however, no benefits are payable because the family maximum benefit, which is the total amount paid to the disabled worker (her father) and potentially to dependents is the same amount as her father’s primary insurance amount. This means that no benefits are payable to her while he lives and he is receiving his benefit. The “future” benefits referred to are probably survivor benefits that could be paid to your daughter if her father dies before she reaches age eighteen or after age eighteen if she herself were to become disabled prior to age twenty-two and remain unmarried.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Violet Macon

        Dear Kay, Wow! I wasn’t expecting that I wonder how they think she suppose to make it he was paying child support.From everything I’ve been reading it seem as if she was entitled to these benefits. This is very annoying how this works. But thanks.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Violet,

          It is not a matter of what anyone thought. No dependent benefits are payable on your daughter’s father’s earnings record because he had a limited work history and earnings that earned a family benefit only high enough to pay his own benefit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Spooby

            i keep reading the benefit calculation is based upon work history/earnings. I’m disabled and am getting a hefty income from disability because as the ssa employee said ” i made/paid almost double the amount that most americans pay into ss. No one at the ssa office informed me that my daughter a minor could get a benefit also… This I found out from a fellow disabled american. so i called the ssa back then and asked about it and was approved to receive that extra income which was 50% of what i was getting. Thanks to Pro life laws and the striping away of my parental rights to protect my daughter from having to live thru the hell she is in now ( a premature birth of a baby after only 25 weeks gestation which is now showing major signs that it will have severe disabilities! ) The govt did not care if she had no way to financially support her baby it only cared about making sure that she could not be forced into having the baby or to not have the baby… I would prefer that I had the right to encourage her to choose one option over the other without being treated as though I was beating a pregnant mother with a baseball bat. So, my hands were tied and the situation tore our 3 generation of loving family tottaly apart! Then to top it off my daughter did what many would think was the right thing to do to make sure that the father would do the right things too, so they got married. which stopped the aux disability benefit payments! I am still supporting her even tho she has moved in with her new husbands family. Nice huh? punishment for doing the right thing – getting married! this is a form of discrimination i feel. she meets all requirments except for being unmarried! 2 days after the marriage, she went to the ssa office and requested to have her name change done and the ssa employee asked if she wanted the benefit to be direct deposited into her bank account instead of mine. she had no bank account! so they agreed to leave that alone. this proves that the ssa was informed of the wedding back then asap as a change occured. now i didn’t notice that the benefit payments didn’t stop for another 3 months… ( i’m retarded and cannot keep up with a bank account like i use to… ) what made me aware of the overpayments was a letter i got from the ssa stating that my daughter and/or I had to pay back the overpayments that occured by no fault of mine! We notified the SSA promptly, yet they didn’t do there part correctly and now they want us to pay for their mistake? How can I trust that this accussation of fraud will not affect my disability when I never cashed/signed any checks since they say they were direct deposits! I had a bank that put money in my account once by accident and I didn’t realize that money wasn’t a deposit I had done and i spent it. Later I figured out that it occured and told the bank about it and they said that they messed up and that I didn’t have to give them the money back! I have read many horror stories about the ssa taking young adults income tax refunds to get their money back. How do i make sure they don’t make our lives harder than what the govt has already done to our family?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Spooby,

              As the adult receiving your daughter’s benefit into your bank account, you are responsible for dealing with the overpayment, not your daughter. I am unclear about when you became aware that she was not eligible for the benefit, whether you knew that when she went to change her name or you did not know it until you got the overpayment letter. If it was not till you got the overpayment letter, you can request repayment on the grounds that the overpayment was not your fault and you cannot afford to repay. If you request for waiver of collection is denied, you can request that it be collected by a small withholding from your benefit each month.

              If your daughter’s child is disabled and she and her husband have limited income and assets, they can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits for their child. The application process can be started by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and requesting an appointment to apply.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Kristen Keeney

    While waiting for approval for SSI for my child, my income increased. I reported the income change immediately. About a month later, they set up a mental evaluation, IQ test with one of their Psychologists. (Which we did). If he’s approved, will we recieve back pay for the months that our income was low enough that we qualified? Or since our income is currently not within the qualifiable range, will we not?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristen,

      If your son is found to meet the medical requirements for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, SSI will be paid for the months that your family income was below the limits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

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