The U.S. government does not intend for Social Security Disability benefits to pay everyone who suffers a disability. Instead, the primary purpose is to ensure a basic standard of living for people who can no longer work for an extended period of time because of disabilities.
With this goal in mind, the Social Security Administration requires you to report income information so it can determine your eligibility. The SSA also adds that you must report any changes to your work activity or earnings when receiving benefits.
Work changes to report
The SSA provides a comprehensive list of work changes it expects you to report. These include the following:
- Extra benefits to make your work easier, such as additional breaks or a job coach
- Whether you stop or start working
- Changes to your work hours or pay
- Cost of items you need to pay for to keep working while disabled, such as therapy
Additional income to report
If you receive income from other sources, you may need to report this as well. These may affect your eligibility:
- Vacation pay
- Public disability benefits or workers’ compensation
- Pensions not tied to Social Security
- Paid sick leave
Failure to report
If you fail to report information accurately and honestly, it may come back to haunt you. The SSA completes a thorough investigation to minimize payouts. The funds for SSD run low compared to prior decades. This stems from an aging population and the number of people retiring versus workers paying into the system.
If the SSA determines you deliberately hid assets or income, you may face charges. Report income honestly. Note that legitimate, legal and acceptable ways exist to organize income so as not to affect eligibility.