Learn how to report your wages to keep Social Security informed about your work and how much money you are making.

Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Wage Reporting

Whether you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it is very important that you keep Social Security informed about your work and how much money, or wages, you are making. The Ticket to Work Help Line (call 1-866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 for TTY) and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Projects can explain Social Security's work and wage reporting requirements and answer questions about reporting your earnings.

Timely wage reporting helps prevent overpayments from Social Security. An overpayment occurs when Social Security has paid you more than you should have been paid in accordance with the rules of your benefits.

If you are overpaid, you may be required to repay the government. In an overpayment situation, Social Security will alert you and your representative payee, if you have one. The notice will explain why you have been overpaid, and how you must repay the money. The notice will also include your appeal and waiver rights. Learn more about options for repaying here.

How to Report Your Wages

To prevent overpayments from Social Security, you should regularly report your wages within six days of the end of the month. You can report your wages by mailing or bringing pay stubs to your local Social Security office. Find an office near you by visiting the Social Security office locator.

If you decide to report your earnings by mail, you may want to use "certified" mail to protect the security of your information and ensure that it arrives at Social Security.  Note there is a cost to send certified mail and Social Security does not require you to use it.

If you receive SSI payments, you may also be able to report your wages by telephone or by mobile app. Contact your local Social Security office to determine what options are available to you.

  • Telephone - Social Security representatives are available to talk about your wage reports from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. toll free at 800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY).
  • Mobile app - If you have a smartphone, Social Security's SSI mobile wage reporting app provides easy ways to report your wages.

Regardless of which method you use to report wages, if you receive SSI, you can sign up online to receive a monthly e-mail or text message wage reporting reminder. To sign up online, click this link and complete the form on the right-hand side of the page.

If you receive both SSI and SSDI, when you report your earnings, it may be helpful for you to make two copies of your information; one copy for Social Security staff who handle the SSDI program and another copy for staff who handle the SSI program. You are not required to do this, but if you decide to, having two copies of your wage information may make it easier for Social Security to process your wages.

Be sure to keep records, such as pay stubs, pay records and bank statements, to verify your earnings if needed in the future. Refer to this chart for more information about what you must report - either as earnings from work or other income.

Items to Report to Social Security

Wages are not the only type of information you need to regularly report to Social Security. Below is a list of information you should report to Social Security based on the type of disability benefits you receive.

If you receive SSI, you should report:

  • All earnings (whether from wages, self-employment or both, including items received instead of wages such as room and board)
  • Unearned income including things like other SSA payments, child support payments or any other cash received that is NOT wages
  • Resources or assets received that cause total countable resources to be over the $2,000 limit
  • If you start or stop work
  • If you start paying for items or services needed to help you work (or Impairment-Related Work Expenses such as medicines, co-pays, medical devices, wheelchairs, transportation costs, therapy or counseling)
  • Use of any Work Incentives

If you have a child under 18 with a disability who receives SSI, Social Security considers some of your income and resources to be available to them. Social Security's process of determining how much of your income and resources is counted is called "deeming." As changes to your income and resources can affect the amount of your child's SSI payment, it is important that you report these changes and the above items to Social Security as well.

If you receive SSDI,  you should report:

  • All earnings (whether from wages, self-employment or both, including items received instead of wages such as room and board)
  • If you start paying for items or services needed to help you work (or Impairment-Related Work Expenses such as medicines, co-pays, medical devices, wheelchairs, transportation costs, therapy or counseling)
  • Receipt of any public disability benefits, such as Worker's Compensation
  • Use of any specific Work Incentives
  • If you start or stop work

Thinking about work, and want to learn what will happen to your benefits if you start? Work Incentives make it possible for you to explore work while still receiving Medicaid or Medicare and some cash benefits; they are designed to help you succeed! Read more about what happens to your Social Security benefits when you start working in Ticket to Work's Your Path to Work resource.