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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Income Reporting

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is an income program offered by the Federal Government to provide cash assistance to the blind, disabled or aged who are unable to work and have little to no income. SSI is not funded by Social Security taxes but through general tax revenues collected by the government. The goal of SSI is to provide monthly cash benefits to provide clothing, food and shelter to qualified recipients.

What if I receive SSI but I return to work?

SSI is only offered to claimants with very little income. If you decide to return to work you must report any earnings you receive from work or any other help or monies you receive from other sources.

The Social Security Administration specifically asks that the following be reported to them:

Prior to starting work you must call the SSA and ask them how they would like the information reported to them. Generally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will ask that you submit your pay stubs or a copy of your Federal income tax form.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) also requests changes be reported to them as well. If you have new income you should report the update no later than the 10th day of the month following the change. Failing to report the change could result in an SSI payment that is too low or too high. If your SSI payment is too high you will be charged for an overpayment.

How do I report my work to the SSA?

The best way to contact the SSA is to Call their toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office.

Challenging an Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Overpayment

It is not uncommon for SSI recipients to do some type of work and not report it to the SSA. As mentioned above, this can cause a SSI overpayment. If you receive notice that you have had an Supplemental Security Income (SSI) overpayment, but you do not agree with the SSA decision, you may file SSA-561 form to contest the overpayment. The form can be downloaded from the SSA website ( or you can call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213.

The SSI overpayment appeal form must outline the reason you do not think the overpayment is valid, and you must make the appeal within 60 days from the date of the overpayment notice. Claimants who can prove the overpayment was not their fault or paying the overpayment would cause them severe financial hardship may win their SSI overpayment appeal. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may request proof of your income and expenses.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer

If you have applied for SSI and have been denied you can contact a disability lawyer to discuss your SSI case and determine if you have grounds for an SSI appeal which must be done within 60 days from the date of an SSI denial.
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