Returning To Work
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you or your representative must promptly report any changes in work activity. You must tell us right away if:
- You start or stop work.
- You already reported your work, but your duties, hours, or pay have changed.
- You start paying for expenses that you need for work due to your disability. For more information, refer to the IMPAIRMENT-RELATED WORK EXPENSESsection.
You can report changes in your work activity by phone, fax, mail, in person or by using my Social Security. Call our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, or you may call, visit, or write your local Social Security office. You can find your local office by going to our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator.
If you receive SSDI or SSI benefits and have a my Social Security account, you may be able to report your wages online. If you receive SSI, Social Security also offers a toll-free automated wage reporting telephone system and a mobile wage reporting application. For more information about these electronic wage reporting methods, please see our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-telephone-wage.htm or call our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and ask Social Security how you can report wages using the system or application.
When you report changes in your work activity, we will give you a receipt to verify that you have properly fulfilled your obligation to report. Save this receipt, along with your paystubs so that we can verify your monthly earnings, and any deductions from allowable earnings.
We will review your case periodically to see if your condition has medically improved or if you can perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). We will also review your case if we receive information that you may have medically improved.
If you have received SSDI benefits for at least 24 months and are working, we do not use your work activity as a reason to conduct a medical review.
If you receive SSI benefits, we may review your case if you work and are eligible for Medicaid while working or if there are changes in your work status. We will not review your case more often than once a year.
We will not perform a review to see if your condition has medically improved while you are actively pursuing your employment goal with using a Ticket to Work provider.
If you receive SSDI benefits and we find that you no longer meet the requirements for disability due either to work at the SGA level or medical improvement, we say that your disability “ceased”. If we find that your disability ceased due to work at the SGA level, our decision is effective in the month shown by the evidence. If we find that your disability ceased due to medical improvement, our decision is effective in the month shown by the evidence, or the month we give you written notice, if later. In either case, we pay SSDI benefits for the cessation month and the following two months. We call these three months the “grace period”.
If you are working and have substantial earnings, you may have the option to request that we voluntarily suspend your cash benefits to avoid being overpaid while we review your earnings. Please contact us by calling 1-800-772-1213 or visiting your local office to learn more about requesting voluntary suspension of your benefits. Also, for more information see the Ticket to Work blog post at https://choosework.ssa.gov/blog/2019-05-02-voluntarily-suspending-your-ssdi-benefits-while-working online.
Your SSDI benefits may continue if one of these statements are true:
- We stop your disability benefit due to your work at the SGA level and then your earnings fall below SGA within the Extended Period of Eligibility.
- We ceased your disability due to medical improvement and you are participating in a program of vocational rehabilitation or similar services.
If you receive SSI benefits and we find that you no longer meet the requirements for disability due to medical improvement, we say that your disability “ceased”. Our decision is effective with the month shown by the evidence, or the month we give you written notice, if later. However, your SSI eligibility continues for that month and the following two months if you meet all the non-disability-related requirements including the income and resources tests. We call these three months the “grace period”.
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.