Managing Your Benefits While Working

Report Your Income

Telling your benefits programs when you start or stop work and how much you earn is key to managing your benefits while working.You need to report to benefits programs any time your income changes, as well as any time you have changes in your living situation or marital status. You also must tell programs about any Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWEs) or Blind Work Expenses (BWEs) that you pay for.

It is important to keep good records and give all required documents to your benefits programs. The rules vary; learn what you need to do for each program.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you must let Social Security know when you start working or stop working. You also must report how much you earn each month during the first six days of the following month. For example, you must report how much you made in January by the sixth of February.

For SSI, you can report changes:

You can even sign up to get a monthly reminder text or email from SSI.

Learn more in DB101’s SSI article.


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must tell Social Security right away if:

  • You start or stop work
  • You reported your work, but your duties, hours, or pay change; or
  • You start paying expenses for work because of your disability.

To report changes, contact your local Social Security office and ask how and when you should report your earnings. You may be able to report:

Learn more in DB101’s SSDI article.

Note: If you get both SSI and SSDI, you must report your income separately to each program.



If you don’t report changes in earnings on time, you may be paid more in benefits than you should be. This is called an overpayment, and you must pay back the money. Your benefits payment can be cut by a penalty of $25 – $100 each time you do not report a change in earned income, or report that change after the deadline. Report your changes on time and avoid overpayments.

Medicaid and Other State Benefits

If you are on Medicaid (or other state programs like FIP or the Food Assistance Program) and your income changes (including when you start or stop working), you must let your county human services agency know. You have 10 days to report the change, and you can do so in person, by phone, or by email. When you tell them about your changes, they let you know if you can keep Medicaid or if you have new health coverage options, like Freedom to Work or individual coverage with subsidies.

Individual Health Insurance

If you get a government subsidy to help pay for individual health insurance coverage, you must report any changes in your income to


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