Social Security Disability Benefits: It’s Your Responsibility to Report Personal Changes

Many people ask “Do I have to do anything else?” once they start receiving monthly disability benefits. The answer is yes.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) does a yearly review of disability benefit recipients to ensure that each person receiving benefits does indeed continue to qualify.  To make sure that you remain eligible, you have a legal obligation to report any changes and are responsible for several things.  One, it is imperative that you continue to receive regular medical care.  Should a year go by and the SSA finds that a person has not seen a doctor in all that time, the logical conclusion is that the person is not disabled and no longer needs disability benefits.

Two, if your address or phone number changes or you are traveling out of the United States for more than 30 days, you must notify your local SSA office with your updated contact information.  They are not going to track you down.  If they can’t reach you, it can cause your benefits to be cancelled.  Three, if you are using direct deposit and your account information changes, call your local SSA office to get the appropriate forms to fill out and submit with your new bank information.

Four, if your income changes at all, it must be reported to the SSA.  When conducting the yearly review, should they find that you received more income than you originally reported receiving, you could end up owing the SSA money.

In summary, if you have any life changes that you think may affect your disability benefits, it’s important to let the Social Security Administration know.  It’s best to be totally upfront and not risk putting yourself in a situation where you have no monthly benefits or the SSA is charging you for overpayment.  The SSA typically gives recipients 10 days after the end of the month that the changes occur.  If more time goes by without the recipient notifying the Social Security Administration of any changes, the SSA has the legal right to apply a penalty to your benefits.

You can report your change online at Social Security Administration website or by calling toll free at 1-800-772-1213.

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