Social Security
The first two Social Security checks for May were sent out to recipients. Here's what you should know to avoid getting your benefits revoked. AFP

NEW YORK CITY - The first two Social Security checks for May were sent out to recipients, and two more rounds are scheduled to be distributed for the rest of the month.

Social Security payments are distributed depending on a beneficiary's birthday and how long they've been receiving benefits. The Social Security Administration typically sends out payment on the second, third and fourth Wednesdays of each month, and millions of Americans can receive up to $4,800 in these checks.

However, while these payments are scheduled and more often than not the process is smooth, recipients need to be aware of some actions that could result in the administration revoking these privileges. Here's what you should know to make sure you receive your checks on time and avoid losing these monthly benefits.

Keep your income information up to date

Some Social Security benefits are in part dictated based on your income, hence, getting a new job could potentially affect how much money you can get.

If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)— a need-based program that provides cash assistance to aged, blind, and disabled individuals with limited income and resources— getting a new job could potentially cause your benefits to end, according to the Social Security Administration. SSI eligibility is for people who make $1,917 or less each month. If your income exceeds that amount, you'll no longer qualify for benefits.

Meanwhile, for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients, you can work for up to nine months without losing your benefits. If after that time you earn $1,550 or more per month, the Administration can suspend your benefits because it considers that substantial gainful activity.

Maintain good standing with the law

If you're in jail or prison for longer than 30 days, your Social Security and SSI benefits can be suspended. Once you're out of jail, you aren't automatically entitled to your benefits again.

If you receive Social Security and your benefits have been suspended because you went to jail or prison, your benefits can be reinstated starting the month following your release.

If you receive SSI, your benefits will be suspended for the time you're in prison. Your payments can start again the month you're released. But if you're incarcerated for longer than 12 consecutive months, your SSI benefits will be terminated.

Marital status

If you're recently divorced or planning to be soon, there are few provisions that could stop you from getting your ex-husband's Social Security retirement benefits. Here are some of them:

  • You're married to a different person now, unless your current marriage ends due to annulment, divorce or death.
  • You weren't married to your ex-spouse for 10 years or longer.
  • Your benefit amount is more than what your ex-spouse's benefits are.

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