Once you are receiving SSDI benefits, a continuing disability review (CDR) will be periodically conducted to ensure that you still qualify for benefits. To prepare for these reviews, and to keep up with all the changes that come with life, you need to report certain medical, financial and legal changes that may affect continued receipt of benefits:
Medical: You certainly need to report improvements or deteriorations in your medical condition; even if you don’t, Social Security will look into it, and it is much better if you report before they investigate.
Return to Work: If you do return to work while receiving benefits, be aware that your income may lower your SSDI benefit. Some patients return part-time at first, only for a few hours a week, but know that working and earning over a certain amount does affect your eligibility. If you choose to be self-employed while on SSDI, this can also have an impact on your benefits. If you are under age 22 and attending school, you must report any change in enrollment.
Other Income Changes: In addition to return to work, you need to report any change in earned or unearned income. If your spouse’s income changes, report it, as well as parental income changes for a child on SSDI.
Marital Status: Marriage or divorce may affect your benefits depending on your specific program. If your SSDI benefits are through your spouse, and you get divorced, you will likely lose the benefit. This reporting applies to same-sex relationships, and you must also report the death of a spouse as well.
Citizenship Status: any change in citizenship or immigration status should be reported.
Change of Residence: In some cases, moving to a different state may mean a change to your benefit amount, so research benefit payouts in your new state prior to the move. Moving out of the country will certainly affect your ability to get SSDI benefits.
Felony: If you are convicted of a felony, the conviction alone doesn’t usually affect your ability to get these benefits, but if you are in jail, the benefits will be terminated in most cases.
Finally, don’t forget to report changes in bank account, phone number, email or mailing address so that SSDI can properly contact you and process your payments. And if you do receive a notice that your benefits have been terminated, there is an SSDI appeal process in which you can appeal to a disability hearing officer (DHO), requesting that your benefits continue while the appeal is being reviewed. NY Disability can help you navigate through the SSDI process; contact us today.