If you receive Social Security disability benefits and return to work, you are required to report changes in your income to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Failure to do so could result in penalties and loss of benefits.

Reporting Requirements for Returning to Work

You must report promptly any changes in your income or work circumstances to the SSA, such as the following:

  • You start working again or stop working;
  • Your duties, hours or pay rate change; or
  • You start paying for impairment-related work expenses.

You can report any changes to your work/income in four ways: by phone (1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday), fax, mailing a letter to your local SSA office, or in person.

You’ll want to keep your proof of income, such as paystubs, as well as the receipt that SSA will give you that verifies you reported your income changes in a safe place in case you need to support your claim.

What will happen to your disability benefits?

After you return to work, the SSA will review your case and determine whether or not you still meet the eligibility requirements to receive disability benefits.

  • SSDI – If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and begin working at the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level, your eligibility will cease in the month shown by the evidence. The SSA will continue to pay SSDI benefits for the cessation month and the following two months, as per the three-month grace period.
  • SSI – If you are on Social Security Income (SSI), “you are not eligible for an SSI payment for any months you do not meet the non-disability eligibility requirements, for example, the income or resources tests,” explains the SSA.

Note, even if you return to work at the SGA level and your SSDI benefits are shut off, your SSDI benefits may continue if your earnings fall below SGA within the SSA’s Extended Period of Eligibility.

Consulting a Disability Lawyer about Returning to Work

The SSA has several helpful return-to-work programs that those receiving disability benefits can utilize while keeping their benefits safe. Unfortunately, sometimes benefits cease prematurely when a claimant returns to work. If you have problems with your disability benefits or questions about how returning to work will impact your benefits, we encourage you to consult a lawyer.

To speak to a disability attorney in Winston-Salem, you can call Patton Brown Law for a free consultation. Contact us today at 855-860-2150.