If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you have many reporting responsibilities if you want to continue receiving your benefits. For example, if there are changes in various aspects of your life, you must report them to the Social Security Administration (SSA) because these changes could affect your eligibility for benefits. If you fail to report these changes, you can lose your benefits and may even wind up owing the SSA money.
For help with any aspect of your SSI claim, an experienced Phoenix Social Security Disability attorney from Dayes Law Firm PC can help. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation so that you can learn about your rights.
Changes in Your Living Arrangements
SSI is a needs-based program intended to provide for your food, shelter and basic needs. Your SSI benefits may be increased or decreased if your living arrangements change, so you must report changes such as:
- Moving into someone else's home
- Moving into your own home
- Paying less than the fair share of your food or housing costs
- Being in a hospital or nursing home for an entire month and having Medicaid pay for more than one half of your care
Changes in Your Resources
To remain eligible for SSI benefits, you must have resources that are less than $2,000 per month for an individual or $3,000 per month for a couple. If your amount of resources goes over this amount, you may lose benefits for that month. If you recently lost benefits because you were over resource limits and your resources are now below this amount, you may be able to get your benefits reinstated.
You must report changes in your resource limit that affect your eligibility. In addition to reporting changes in your own resources, you may also be required to report any changes in your spouse's resources.
Selling a resource may put you over the resource limit. However, in some situations, you may still be able to retain your benefits while you are selling your resources. For example, if you are trying to sell real estate you can receive benefits for nine months in some situations. If you give away a resource or sell it for less than it is actually worth, you can lose eligibility for benefits for a long time.
An SSI lawyer can help explain these important rules to you. You should strongly consider talking to an experienced SSI lawyer before taking any action that can adversely affect your benefits.
Other Changes to Report
There are a number of other changes that SSI recipients may be required to report to their local SSA office. The SSA needs to be able to contact you about your claim at any time, so you must update your phone number or address if it changes.
Additionally, you must report any changes that affect your eligibility for benefits or the amount of benefits. You are responsible for reporting such changes as:
- The death of a spouse or other person in the household
- Change in marital status
- Change in immigration status
- Eligibility for other benefits
- Change in school attendance
- Change in employment status, work hours or income
- Leaving the country for at least 30 days
- Improvement in your medical condition
Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act
This law was passed in 1999 and creates opportunities for people between the ages of 18 and 64 who receive SSI benefits who are interested in working or increasing their earnings.
For example, the Ticket program provides free employment services from an approved employment support service provider. This provider works closely with claimants to help them develop a plan to be able to reenter the workforce and meet their work goals. The service is provided free to claimants. Being part of this program can also allow a claimant to become eligible for additional vocational services.
While a claimant is involved in the Ticket program, the SSA does not complete continuing disability reviews to determine if his or her disability has improved. However, if a person's status changes in this program and he or she is no longer part of it or has become fully employed, this information must be reported to the SSA.
Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you think that you have experienced a recent change that needs to be reported to the SSA, an experienced lawyer from Dayes Law Firm PC can help. We have fought for years for our clients to retain the benefits they are entitled.
We can provide you with information about income and resource eligibility and explain how to pursue all the benefits you deserve. We offer a free case review during which we can discuss your situation.