What are the income reporting requirements for SSI benefits?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are benefits that are meant to go to low-income individuals nationwide who are disabled, aged or blind. However, due to the income requirements, if an SSI recipient works and receives benefits, he or she must report his or her earnings to the Social Security Administration (SSA.)

Of course, a recipient’s gross monthly wages (that is, what the recipient earns before taxes or other deductions are taken out of his or her paycheck) must be reported. However, if a recipient either starts or stops work, this must also be reported. If a person’s income goes up or down, this too must be reported. If a recipient takes on a second or third job, or stops working at a second or third job, this also needs to be reported. The SSA must also be informed of any work expenses the recipient has that are related to the recipient’s disability. Finally, if the recipient is blind, all of the recipient’s work expenses must be reported.

In addition, there are circumstances in which an SSI recipient needs to report someone else’s earnings to the SSA. For example, if the recipient is married, and his or her spouse lives with him or her, that spouse’s earnings must be reported. If the SSI recipient is a child living with his or her parents, his or her parents’ earnings must also be reported. Also, if the recipient is a non-citizen and has a sponsor, the sponsor’s earnings must also be reported, even if the recipient and sponsor do not live together.

It is important that SSI recipients comply with all of the SSA’s reporting requirements. The failure to do so could result in the denial or discontinuation of benefits. Therefore, it is important that SSI recipients understand what they need to report to the SSA and why. If they are unsure about what they are required to report, they may want to seek the advice of an attorney.