I expect to get Social Security benefits starting soon, but I plan to keep working. I know that if I make more than a certain threshold, SSA will deduct a certain amount from my monthly benefits.

There's a similar system for Unemployment Insurance in my state: Every two weeks I declare how much money I made, and their next payment to me will be adjusted.

Does it work the same way for Social Security? Do I have to declare monthly how much I earned? Or will they pay the unadjusted amount, and I will have to pay them back at the end of the year? I can't seem to find this detail at SSA.GOV.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you need to report your wages, and do it timely. See here. The SSA receives reports on your earnings from your employers through their payroll tax reporting, albeit much later than needed to adjust monthly SS benefit payments to you. So they will know eventually, and will demand money retroactively if you failed to report your wages on time.

  • Note that earned income above the earning threshold must be reported and will affect benefits only until you reach full retirement age of 66-67. Also, the threshold is a moving target. It's currently $22,320 at age 62 and currently rises to $59,520 at full retirement age. See: ssa.gov/prepare/plan-retirement
    – MTA
    Apr 19 at 22:10
  • Thanks; that link says "monthly" and also how report overall changes to my status. Apr 20 at 22:27
  • The links you posted are for Social Security disability income specifically. The OP didn’t specify if he would be receiving disability or retirement income. I am retired and don’t separately report income to SSA. Instead, any taxes on my SS due to excessive income is resolved on my 1040 at year end and, if necessary, I have to make estimated tax payments quarterly. I just wanted to point out the difference.
    – DoxyLover
    Apr 25 at 9:07
  • No, this is not for disability, and not related to taxes. Calculating the taxable portion of the received SS benefits is a separate issue
    – littleadv
    Apr 25 at 11:21

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