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Consequences from SSDI or SSI if a disabled person does not notify agencies of work performed.

Los Angeles, CA |

Disabled person gets job but fails to inform SSDI and SSI. She is not paid and wants to file a wage claim. If she informs SSDI and SSI before filing the claim, will SSDI and SSI stop her disability payments? Will SSDI or SSI seak a lien for money recovered from the wage claim?

Term of employment; approximately 50 days Employment: working in a half-way home tasks: cleaning, making food, giving medicine to residence.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. SSDI and SSI benefit recipients must notify SSA if they start working, period. There is a trial work period option available, as well as the possibility of reinstating benefits following a period of working. But in any event, SSA must be notified (which ought to be done in writing using certified mail - return receipt requested with a copy of the letter so that you can PROVE that they were given notice). Anything less than giving the proper notice will likely lead to overpayment and/or potential fraud concerns.

    Depending on the wages, the work may not create a total loss of benefits, but that's something you want to deal with on the front end and not on the back end when they "find out" that the recipient has been working.---------------------

    It is impossible to give specific answers to questions without meeting and fully discussing all of the potential issues that may not be addressed by your question. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information and are not legal advice. Only after a thorough personal consultation could specific legal advice be given. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. To enter such a relationship you and I would need to consult in person and form a mutually agreeable written contract of engagement. The answer(s) provided in this forum is intended to educate you and point to issues for you to raise in a consultation with a lawyer of your choosing who is appropriately competent in the field of law that your question concerns and who is duly licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where you live and/or where the events giving rise to your question occurred. You should not take any action that might affect your claim(s) without first seeking the professional opinion of a licensed attorney. There are often strict deadlines for filing suit, responding to a suit or making an appeal and you need to personally consult with an attorney to make sure that you understand and meet those deadlines.


  2. I agree with the above attorney here. You want to notify SSA as soon as possible to avoid an overpayment situation, which can be a headache to deal with. You do get a trial work period, but still want to notify them to avoid any potential problems. I would always do this in writing so you have a paper trail in the event you ever need it. Best of luck to you.


  3. I agree with my two colleagues. While some work is typically not going to kill her benefits, SSI will generally see an offset after the first $65 of earned income and have of the rest of what she earns. Of course, if she is working substantially, she will be found to not be disabled and her benefits will stop and she may also be found to have been overpaid by the SSA. If that happens, she will be ordered to pay it back. She can file a request to have her obligation to pay back waived, based on hardship and lack of fault, but a failure to inform the SSA of work will likely not be considered faultless, unfortunately.

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