SSA-821: Work Activity Report
The Social Security Administration (SSA) may ask the applicant to complete an SSA-821 Work Activity Report if he/she continued to work after the alleged date of onset. This article provides additional information and tips for assisting applicants with this form.
Why does SSA ask for this form?
How does SSA use this information?
This could have an impact on the applicant’s eligibility for cash benefits and Medicare for SSDI, or in establishing the 12 month durational requirement
Remember that Step 1 of the disability determination process is establishing that the applicant is not working above SGA levels
Note: SSA considers different SGA amounts, depending on the calendar year in which the work occurred
Determining an Established Onset Date
DDS is unable to set an established onset date before the end of the last successful engagement in SGA, with few exceptions
As a result, the information we provide on the SSA-821 could help show that the applicant had an earlier onset date than his/her final day of work
Tips for completing the SSA-821
If yes, the applicant will skip to Question 3
If no, the applicant will answer Question 2 about other sources of income that may have been reported for him/her, such as Workers Compensation or holiday pay
DDS will need receipts for these expenses
The expenses are not reimbursed, but they could be helpful in reducing counted income
Utilizing Individual Placement and Support Job Reports
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is often used as a supportive employment model for individuals experiencing serious mental illness.
IPS tools such as job follow along plans (PDF), job start reports (PDF) and job end reports (PDF) often contain information such as the individual’s employment goals and objectives, job titles, job duties, rate of pay, changes in job duties/schedule, reason for job ending (from the individual’s perspective and the employer’s perspective), and what support is/has been provided to the individual.
Information gathered from an individual’s IPS documents can be helpful to include when completing the SSA-821, as well as the occupational history and functional information sections of the Medical Summary Report (MSR).
Worth the effort!
For more information
- SSA Forms
- February, 2023
- Employment & Work Incentives