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Wages for Social Security Purposes

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at


1300. Wages for Social Security Purposes

1300.1 What are "wages"?

"Wages" means all payment for services you perform for your employer. Wages do not have to take the form of cash. The cash value of all compensation paid to you in any form other than cash is also considered wages (unless the form of payment is specifically not covered under the Social Security Act).

1300.2 What types of income are considered wages?

Wages include bonuses, commissions, fees, vacation pay, cash tips of $20 or more a month, and severance pay.

1300.3 What types of income are NOT considered wages?

Types of income that are not wages include capital gains, gifts, inheritances, investment income, and jury duty pay.

Last Revised: March, 2001

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