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Reporting to Social Security

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

133. Reporting to Social Security

You must notify the Social Security Administration of any event affecting your eligibility for, or amount of, benefit payment (See §133.2 and §133.1). The office or telephone service center that you notify will make the change to your record or forward the information to the program service center. We will ask for your Social Security claim number. You must report any change affecting SSI benefits within 10 calendar days after the month the change occurred. (See §2126.)

133.1 What is the "claim number?"

The claim number is the social security number under which a claim is filed or benefits are paid. If you are an SSI beneficiary, your claim number is your nine-digit Social Security Number (SSN) (000-00-0000) followed by two letters such as EI, DI, DS, DC.

If you are a Social Security beneficiary, your claim number is the nine-digit SSN followed by one or more letters such as A, B, C, HA.

133.2 What events must you report immediately under Social Security?

If you receive Social Security benefits on behalf of yourself or another person you must immediately report any of the following events to us:

  1. A beneficiary (other than a disabled individual) is working and has, or expects to have, more earnings than the amount exempted under the earnings test explained in Chapter 18;

  2. The marriage of a person who is entitled to child's, widow(er)'s, mother's, father's, parent's, or divorced spouse's insurance benefits;

  3. A beneficiary under age 62 entitled to spouse's, mother's, or father's insurance benefits no longer has in care a child under age 16 or disabled that is entitled to benefits;

  4. A person entitled to benefits because of disability has either (1) returned to work; or (2) the person's condition has improved so that he or she is able to work;

  5. A non-disabled child beneficiary age 18 or over no longer attending elementary or secondary school full-time;

  6. The death of a beneficiary;

  7. A beneficiary works outside the U.S. for more than 45 hours in a calendar month;

  8. A person under age 65 who is entitled because of disability becomes entitled to workers' compensation benefits; or there is a change in the public disability payment rate;

  9. Imprisonment for a conviction of a criminal offense that carries a sentence of more than one year;

  10. Confinement by court order to an institution at public expense following a verdict or finding that an individual has been found guilty by reason of insanity or similar verdict;

  11. A person begins to receive a governmental pension or annuity; or there is a change in a present pension amount and the person receives a spouse's Social Security benefit;

  12. A beneficiary leaves the U.S.;

  13. A beneficiary's citizenship or alien status changes; or

  14. A retirement or disability beneficiary is divorced from the parent of an entitled stepchild.

133.3 What events must the recipient or the representative payee report immediately under Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Any of the following events must be reported immediately to us on behalf of persons receiving SSI payments:

  1. A change in living arrangements, including a change in residence, mailing address, marital status, or amount of earned or unearned income;

  2. The death of the recipient or anyone with whom he or she lives;

  3. A disabled or blind recipient goes to work or has improvement in his or her condition;

  4. A change in ownership or value of real or personal property (including those belonging to a living-with spouse or parent);

  5. A change in the amount of earned or unearned income of a living-with spouse or parent, or of the sponsor of an alien;

  6. A recipient enters or leaves an institution;

  7. A recipient leaves the U.S. for more than 30 days;

  8. A recipient under age 22 is no longer attending school full-time;

  9. A recipient's citizenship or alien status changes;

  10. A recipient is fleeing to avoid criminal prosecution;

  11. A recipient is taken into custody or confinement after conviction of a crime that is a felony;

  12. A recipient is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under Federal or State law; or

  13. A recipient becomes eligible for other benefits.

133.4 What happens after you notify SSA of a reportable event?

Based on the information provided, the Social Security office or the program service center adjusts benefit payments and notifies the beneficiary of the action.

133.5 What are the consequences if you do not notify SSA of a reportable event?

If you fail to make reports promptly, there may be monetary penalties. (See Chapter 18 and §2126.)

Last Revised: Sep. 22, 2006


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