Employment Supports/Work Incentive Programs - Monthly Wage Reporting and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

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This publication explains how to report your wages when you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and why reporting your wages is necessary to avoid losing your SSI when you work.

This publication explains how to report your wages when you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and why reporting your wages is necessary to avoid losing your SSI when you work.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program for people who are disabled, blind, or over 65 and cannot afford to pay for housing, food and health care.

If you qualify for SSI, you will get a check on the first of the month to pay for food or shelter. SSI recipients get free Medi-Cal coverage for themselves.

Why do I need to report wages each month?

The law says you must report your wages when you get SSI.

Your wages may or may not affect the amount of your SSI check. SSI figures out how much to pay you each month depending on the income from work and other sources available to you. Social Security also looks at expenses you pay that make it possible for you to work when calculating your SSI payment.

You must report your wages each month to make sure you get the correct SSI payment. Reporting wages each month may help you avoid an overpayment or losing your SSI.

When to report wages.

Report your wages as soon as you get your last paycheck for the month. Wages must be reported no later than the 10th day of the next month. For example, if you work in January you must report wages when you get your last paycheck in January, but no later than February 10.

Who is responsible for reporting wages?

If you are a representative payee, it is your responsibility to report the wages. Representative payees must create their own personal my Social Security account to report wages online for the SSI recipient you represent. You may also use the automated phone system or free mobile wage reporting application to report wages for your SSI recipient.

You must also report wages if you are a spouse, parent, or sponsor of a person receiving SSI. Your spouse must live with you. Parents must live with you and you must be younger than age 18. If you are not a US citizen, your sponsor must report wages even if the sponsor does not live with you.

Representative payees, spouses, parents or sponsors of SSI recipients can use the automated phone system or free mobile wage reporting application to report the wages of a person receiving SSI.

NOTE: if you are the spouse, parent, or sponsor of a person receiving SSI, you need to report to Social Security if you start or stop working.

How to report wages when you get SSI.

Option 1 - my Social Security account

You can report wages online by registering on Social Security so you can access my Social Security account. Reporting your wages using your My Social Security account is an easy and secure way to report your wages. after reporting your wages using my Social Security account, you can save or prevent a copy of your receipt. Keep the receipt in a safe place. The receipt is proof you reported your wages.

To sign-up for my Social Security account, go to the Social Security website at: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/, and choose "Create an Account"

If you get SSI and another disability benefit like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you can use the online wage reporting system to report wages to SSI and SSDI.

Note: if you get SSI and SSDI, or Social Security benefits like SSDI like Disabled Widow Benefits (DWB) or Child Disability Benefits (CDB), you must report your wages to the SSI program and the SSDI program. If you report your wages to the SSI program only, you may end up with an overpayment of SSDI benefits because SSI and SSDI are different Social Security programs and do not share information about your wages.

After logging into my Social Security account, you will see your employer's name on the Wage Reporting Screen in my Social Security. If you need to report wages for an employer not shown on the wage reporting screen, you will need to report your wages to the local Social Security office instead of the online system.

Option 2 - the Social Security automated phone system

SSI recipients can report wages by telephone using Social Security's automated phone system or by calling and speaking to a Social Security representative

To speak with a Social Security representative, call between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. The toll-free number is 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TTY). The automated phone system is available 24 hours a day.

Option 3 - use your iPhone or android smartphone

Report your wages using your smartphone by downloading the Social Security app on your phone. The app is compatible with android and iPhone smartphones.

Go to: https://youtu.be/bXYL1XkC3R4 to download the app and start using this easy and secure way to report your wages.

NOTE: do not report wages online or use the automated phone system or free mobile reporting application to:

  • report wages for an employer not shown on the wage reporting screen in my Social Security
  • report work activity for the first time
  • report wages after the deadline
  • report earnings from self-employment
  • report expenses for work because of your disability or blindness, such as impairment-related work expenses (IRWE) or blind work expenses (BWE)
  • track your progress or report expenses if you are participating a plan for achieving self-sufficiency (PASS)

You should contact your local Social Security office if you need to do any of the above. Participants in a PASS plan should contact their PASS cadre.

Option 4 - report wages by mail

We generally do not recommend using the mail to report wages. Your wage stubs may be lost, misplaced, or there may be delays in processing your wage information, which could result in an incorrect SSI payment amount. If you do use the mail, it is recommended that you send your wage stubs by certified mail. Keep in mind that there is a fee to use certified mail, whereas there is no charge to report wages online, by telephone, or using the free mobile application.