Many people who receive Social Security Disability benefits would love nothing more than to have a stimulating and rewarding job again. If you are or plan to become employed while receiving Social Security Disability benefits, here are three essential things you should do.
1. Report your wages to Social Security in a timely manner.
This is very, very important! If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you must report your monthly wages by the 10th of each month and keep Social Security updated when your wages change. This includes when you start working, when you stop working, when your hours change, or when you get a raise.
How do I report wages to Social Security if I am working while receiving benefits?
See the Wage Reporting Fact Sheet for SSA Disability Beneficiaries, a useful resource provided by the National Disability Institute (NDI).
2. Report all other events and changes that could affect your Social Security Disability benefits.
Every type of benefit that Social Security pays out has an associated list of events and changes that those receiving it are required to report. For example, if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you should not only report the above, but also changes to resources such as bank accounts, changes in property ownership (other than the house you live in) and changes in marital status or living arrangements.
As a Southern Illinois Social Security Disability attorney, I recommend talking to your local Social Security field office for a list of your reporting responsibilities.
3. Avoid being negatively affected by an overpayment.
Overpayments happen. They are inevitable because Social Security has millions of records to keep track of. There is a lag between when you report wage changes and when the information is processed and recorded by Social Security. An overpayment means that Social Security sent you more money than you were eligible to receive in a given month. You will know that you have received an overpayment because Social Security will send you a notice in the mail and how much you owe.
You can avoid benefit overpayments by taking these steps:
- Use a separate bank account to track your Social Security disability benefits and easily keep records.
- Keep copies of your pay stubs and all other Social Security correspondence. It is important to organize these by date. I recommend making use of a three ring binder or set of folders.
- Follow up to be sure that the wage or status changes you reported were received and recorded by Social Security.