Can You Go To Jail For Not Reporting Income To SSI


When it comes to SSI (social security income) it is very important to ensure that you give all of the correct information to the best of your ability and knowledge. 

You must declare income and anything else that can help SSI to determine how much you may be able to fairly receive. This will ensure that you get what is owed – no more and no less! This means it is in your best interest to be truthful. 

However, it may seem tempting to withhold some financial information, purely because you may be able to get more money. They won’t find out, right? Wrong.

In this article, we are going to be exploring what can happen if you don’t report income to SSI. Is jail time possible? What could happen to you? What exactly do you need to report and how? In this article, we tell you everything! 

Can you go to jail for not reporting income to ssi?

The short answer to the question over whether you can go to jail for not reporting income to SSI is yes.

Technically, if you purposely hold back on reporting your income to SSI this can be classed as a fraud! The reason for this is because it may mean that they work out that you are entitled to more SSI money than you technically need or deserve. 

This is a very serious offense and can land you with both felony and criminal charges. Fraudulent claims are treated with utmost seriousness and the SSA who are in charge of SSI payments have a zero-tolerance policy towards them.

In theory, many people may class this as the same as stealing from the public. You are essentially taking taxpayers’ money unlawfully, and perhaps even preventing someone in need from having it. 

It is important to note that not all instances of SSI fraud are done deliberately. Sometimes a person may be accused of not reporting income but may have done so accidentally such as missing out on figures or providing inaccurate information by accident.

However, even if this is the case and you did not intend to commit fraud, you may still face penalties. This is why it is so important to report all of your income to SSI and to do so as accurately as possible. 

What happens if you don’t report your income to SSI?

If you do not report your income to SSI several things could happen. For example, the penalties are serious if you do not report your actual income and instead choose one that is lower so that you will get more SSI payments. 

For this sort of income reporting fraud, at worst (and as discussed above), you may get charged with a felony and a crime. This may result in you being sentenced to jail time at worst! The reason for this is because it is looked at in the same way as fraud. 

Of course, the severity of your punishment if you do not report your income or if you supply false information may vary depending on the extent of the falsification or fraud. 

You may get your SSI stopped if they find out that you have failed to report your income. This is especially true if you already have a claim with them and need to update your income but choose not to.

If you don’t already have a claim set up and you fail to report your income then you will not be granted SSI, to begin with. 

You may also have to pay back the benefits you have already received if you are found to have provided wrong or false information at a later date. Sometimes this may even have interest added on top, making the payback even more expensive! 

What do I have to report to SSI?

If you are claiming SSI there are many things that you need to report by law. This will ensure your case can be fairly assessed and that you get the money you will need. These include any evidence of any SSI payments you are already receiving. 

You will also need to report any jobs that you may have, any income you are receiving from any other means such as part-time jobs or another government benefit, any monetary assistance from friends or family members, and any student finance payments. 

You may also have to provide information and evidence regarding all of the financial income for those people you live with. Your SSI case handler will help you with this. 

If you fail to report any of these then you could face penalties, refusal of SSI, and even jail time if the fraud is serious enough. Ensure you report these to the SSI promptly and as accurately as possible. 

You may be able to report this over the phone, at an SSA department, or even online. 

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