SSA Benefits and Overpayments Self-Advocacy Resources

SSI Marriage Penalty is a fact sheet that generally discusses Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the context of marriage and focuses in particular on the effect of the “marriage penalty,” and how it affects the benefits of individuals with disabilities.

Other Resources

The Social Security Administration is the most reliable source of information about benefits.  SSA’s website has many publications available and also has a FAQ section.  Some examples of SSA publications are:

  • Disability Benefits generally explains Social Security benefits based on disability, how to apply, working, and other basic information on the benefits.
  • Understanding the Benefits -- this booklet explains some of your rights and responsibilities when you receive disability benefits from Social Security. It includes information on what should be reported, benefits to children, returning to work, and protecting your information.
  • Benefits for Children with Disabilities is SSA’s booklet discussing how children may be eligible for benefits (SSI or SSDI) and related information.
  • The Red Book is the general reference source about employment and SSI and SSDI.  This resource includes answers to many common questions about work and benefits, work incentives, etc.
  • Representative Payee -- this section of SSA’s website has information for both payees and beneficiaries, including how a person may switch payees or file a complaint about their payee.
  • Social Security: What Prisoners Need to Know is a pamphlet providing information to prisoners on who can receive social security benefits, as well as what to do upon release if social security benefits had been suspended.  It also includes the appropriate contact information for the Social Security Administration. The SSA website has a section with fact sheets on many of the questions asked by people who are incarcerated or who recently have been released.
  • Contacting SSA by Mail provides the appropriate address and telephone number for the office of public inquiries.

SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) is the primary source of information used by Social Security employees.  While somewhat difficult to navigate and complex, the POMS direct how SSA makes decisions and may help provide answers or information necessary for self-advocacy.

The Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University has many resources from the general to very specific on benefits, work incentives, etc.  Many of these publications have some information specific to New York, but the parts regarding general SSA may help answer questions or provide basic information to better form questions to local SSA or state agencies.  For example, Ticket to Work and Disability Reviews is a brief report covering the Continuing Disability Review (CDR) process which individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are required to get to determine the ongoing nature of the disability and eligibility for benefits.

Work Incentives under Social Security Programs is a report on how work incentives play a role in ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access to a full range of assistive technology devices and services.  Please note that this document was created by an out-of-state legal services organization, which does not serve North Carolina.

Social Security and Representative Payees is a Q&A that provides information on what a representative payee is and when they are needed, as well as what their duties include.  Please note that this document is by an out-of-state legal services organization, which does not serve North Carolina.

Right to Representation SSA is a brochure explaining your right to have someone represent you when interacting with the Social Security Administration. It includes how to go about seeking a representative, what they may and may not do, and what they may charge.

The Appeals Process SSA is a fact sheet focusing on the steps and process of appealing a decision handed down by the Social Security Administration. It includes how and when to appeal, how many levels of appeals exist, and requesting that benefits continue during the appeals process.


The SSA provides information on understanding overpayments.

Relevant Social Security Administration Links:

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