Ask Larry

If I Take A Job WIll My Employer Find Out I'm Receiving SSDI Benefits?

I am thinking of getting a job and was wondering if the business will know that I’m currently getting SSDI and doing a TWP? It looks like you have to report new jobs but it’s not clear if it’s for matching W2s or if Social Security reaches out to them.

Also, if you have to leave a job before your TWP is up, does Social Security check with the company to ask about your work performance/why you left?

(I have the possibility of working with a friend at his wife’s company but want to keep my disability private from her.)


Hi. You definitely must notify Social Security if you're receiving Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits and if you start working. Social Security won't necessarily contact your employer, but in many cases they need to contact your employer in order to verify your monthly earnings. The only wage information that Social Security automatically receives from an employer are W-2 forms, and the W-2 forms only show annual earnings amounts.

Social Security may not need to contact your employer if you are able to furnish to them pay slips or other documentation that verifies your monthly earnings. But, even if you do so there is nothing to stop Social Security from contacting your employer. And, they don't need to get your authorization before contacting your employer for earnings information. So, I wouldn't count on being able to keep secret from your employer the fact that you're receiving SSDI benefits.

The only reason that Social Security would ask an employer about an employee's work performance and/or why their job ended is if they are making a determination on whether or not the work was substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA determinations for people who are already collecting benefits aren't made until after a person's trial work period (TWP) has been completed, so if you stop work before completing your TWP I don't know of any reason why Social Security would ask your employer those types of questions.

Best, Jerry

Apr 12 2023 - 11:59am
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