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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - Return To Work

Tracking and Reporting Your Self-Employment

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Social Security has guidelines for regular reporting of self-employment earnings, no matter how great or small. Whether Social Security requests the information or not, it is advisable to keep track of your earnings, expenses, and the amount of time you work each month so you don't have to waste an inordinate amount of precious time trying to reconstruct this information when Social Security eventually asks for it.

Social Security will reduce your benefit based on the net amount you earn each month. This is the amount you earn after deducting normal business expenses. If you don't report earnings for a particular month, you will receive an overpayment for that month that you will eventually have to return to Social Security.

If you keep track of what you earn, you can estimate the overpayment each month and set that amount aside. This will make it easier to repay Social Security when the time comes. Our chart will help you estimate your overpayment.

While you are technically not obligated to report your self-employment until Social Security asks for it, you may wish to personally deliver the information quarterly to your local Social Security office unless they instruct you otherwise. Get a written receipt for anything you deliver in person. If you mail the form, send it registered mail, return receipt requested. File the receipt in your SSI file.

Click here for the Self-Employed SSI Benefit Calculation Chart.

For more on counting earnings and Social Security Overpayments, SSI: Return To Work, SSI: Overpayments

The Work Activity Report: Social Security will send you a form to complete, called the Work Activity Report (Self-Employed Person), Form SSA-820-F4 (2-91). As the Work Activity Report below shows, Social Security takes into consideration all the factors which affect your ability to work - not just what you earn and how many hours you work.

To become familiar with the Work Activity Report, see: offsite link

Note: Ask your Claims Representative how frequently you should submit the Work Activity Report form. You may want to periodically complete it and send it in (or, even better, personally deliver it and get a receipt) even if Social Security doesn't send one to you regularly.

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