Report Changes

For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must tell Social Security right away if:

  • You start or stop work
  • You reported your work, but your duties, hours, or pay change; or
  • You start paying expenses for work because of your disability.

You also need to let Social Security know if your address changes, if you get any other disability benefits, such as Workers’ Compensation, or if you use any SSDI deductions when figuring out your income. If you don’t report your earnings, you may have to pay back the SSDI benefits you get to Social Security.

To report changes, contact your local Social Security office and ask how and when you should report your earnings. You may be able to report:

Note: If you get both SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you must report your income to SSDI and SSI separately. Learn more about SSI income reporting in DB101's SSI article.

Get a binder for your records

Sometimes, Social Security reviews your situation. That’s why you should get a binder and keep copies of all your records from the last five years in it, including:

  • Pay stubs
  • Documentation of work incentives, such as receipts for your Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs), and
  • Letters you get from Social Security and other agencies.

Take your binder with you whenever you go to a Social Security office, and take notes in it every time you communicate with Social Security.

Social Security Reviews

Social Security does two different types of Continuing Disability Review (CDR) to make sure you still qualify for SSDI benefits:

  • A work CDR means Social Security looks at your earnings history. They check things like whether you have earned more than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level and whether you have documented work incentives, such as IRWEs. Keep records of your work, such as pay stubs, for five or more years, in case Social Security asks to see them.
    • Social Security usually does a work CDR when your earnings go above the Trial Work level, go above the SGA level, or drop below the SGA level.
  • A medical CDR means Social Security looks at your medical condition to make sure you still have a disability. You may need to give them medical records or other information.

Respond right away and do what Social Security asks you to do, otherwise your SSDI payments could stop. If you have trouble filling out a form or getting documentation, ask for help at your local Social Security office or talk to a Benefits Planner.

Overpayments

If Social Security decides they paid you more than they should have, they’ll send you a letter telling you they’ve made an overpayment and explaining how much money you must pay back.

Deal with an overpayment notice right away. The overpayment letter asks for the money to be returned within 30 days, but Social Security will work out a monthly payment plan with you if you ask. Contact Social Security immediately to talk about your options.

If you think an overpayment wasn’t your fault and you can’t pay it back because you need the money to pay for living expenses, you can ask for a waiver of the overpayment. If Social Security gives you a waiver, you won’t have to repay the overpayment. To get the form you need to ask for a waiver, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) and ask for Form SSA-632.

Appealing an overpayment or change in benefits

If you think the amount of your overpayment is incorrect or that you do not have any overpayment, you can appeal. If you appeal within 30 days of the date the notice was sent, you might keep getting your SSDI benefits while your appeal is reviewed.

Learn more about appeals.