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What do I report to Social Security?

When certain changes happen in your life, you must let Social Security know.

Note: If Social Security requires you to have a representative payee, it is the payee’s responsibility to report the change.

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How much time do I have to report changes?

You should report the changes by the 10th day of the next month. For example, if you move to a new home in May, you should report the address change to Social Security by the 10th day of June.

Here are examples of changes you must report to Social Security:

How do I report a change?

You have a few options for reporting changes:

  • You can call 1-800-772-1213 and schedule an appointment at your local office. This might be quicker than walking into an office without an appointment and waiting. 
  • When bringing and handing over documents to Social Security, ask them to make a copy and stamp them as received. You can keep these for your records. 
  • When possible, give Social Security copies of documents, not originals. 
  • After talking with a Social Security representative, write down the person’s name, the date and time you talked, and what was discussed.

During certain work phases, eligibility for SSDI, SSCDB, and DWB depends on if your work is at or below Substantial Gainful Activity, or SGA. SGA is measured by your earnings, the support and accommodation you use when working, and other factors. It is important to let Social Security know about your work situation so they can make a correct decision about SGA.

There are several things you should consider when reporting work to Social Security. We recommend you visit Reporting Monthly Work Activity for more information and tips on reporting.

Social Security sent me a letter...

A person opening a letter in the mail.

Social Security will send you many letters. Some letters provide basic information and updates, such as letting you know about a cost-of-living increase to your Title II benefit. Other letters will ask you to provide information by a certain date or within a certain number of days. You should try to read every letter when you receive it so that you are aware of updates and when Social Security is asking for information.

Time to respond

The time limit by when Social Security wants information is important: if you miss a deadline, you risk becoming ineligible for benefits. For this reason, you should try to read every letter when you receive it. If you are not able to respond by their deadline, you can contact Social Security and ask for an extension.

Types of notices and requests

Social Security is required to check to see if you are still eligible for benefits or if you might be eligible for another type of benefit. They must also let you know how to appeal if you disagree with a decision. Social Security may ask you to provide information about your income and disability in these reviews.

Learn more about the different types of notices and requests...

Social Security will review your medical condition every three to seven years to make sure you continue to have a disability. If you are collecting SSDI, SSCDB, or DWB, your ability to work at the SGA level will be reviewed during a CDR.

When Social Security learns about a change in your work situation, they will send you a “Work Activity Report,” which asks you to provide wage and other work information.

The Work Activity Report may request information about work you did months or years ago. Keeping your work information organized will make it easier to respond to these requests.

Social Security uses the Work Activity Questionnaire to understand your work and the support you receive to do your job. Social Security may send this form to you or your employer.

If Social Security thinks you may qualify for another benefit, they will ask you to apply. 

Example

Liam became eligible for SSCDB when his mother retired. Liam has been working and paying Social Security taxes. Social Security thinks he now may now be insured. They ask Liam to apply for SSDI, based on his own work record. If Liam is found eligible, he may become eligible for both SSCDB and SSDI.

 

If Social Security believes you were overpaid or you are no longer eligible for a benefit, they will send you a letter about the matter and let you know your options to appeal.

You may have different appeal options, each with its own rules and time limit on when must respond.

For an overview of the appeal process, please visit our resource on Overpayments and Appeals

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