Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration

Total Earnings for Earnings Test Purposes

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

1809. Total Earnings for Earnings Test Purposes

1809.1 How do you compute your total earnings?

Under the earnings test, your earnings for a taxable year consist of:

  1. The sum of your wages for services performed in the year; plus

  2. All net earnings from self-employment for the year; minus

  3. Any net loss from self-employment for the year.

1809.2 Are earnings counted even if you were not entitled to benefits for the entire year?

Yes, we count your earnings for the entire taxable year in applying the earnings test. This is true even if you may not have been entitled to benefits for the entire year.

1809.3 Are earnings counted when you reach FRA?

No, we do not count your earnings if they were earned in or after the month you reach FRA.

Last Revised: Jan. 17, 2003


Recent Content

Tips on Filing for Social Security Benefits

This is a good article with several tips on when and how to apply for Social Security benefits.

When to file :

* For a retirement or Medicare claim, file three months before you want your benefits to begin.

* For disability, file as soon as possible.

You can largely file online, with the notable exception of a survivor claim for a widow, widower or surviving child. Call Social Security to schedule an appointment.

One-Page Overview of Social Security Disability

Here's a good overview of Social Security disability which answers the following questions :

Who does the SSA consider disabled?

What is the SSA’s definition of disability?

What evidence does the SSA require to prove my medical condition?

What if my medical condition is not in the Blue Book?

Does the SSA have any other requirements for disability benefits?

What if I am able to earn a small income?

If I am unable to work, am I guaranteed disability benefits?

Can Prisoners Receive Social Security?

In the 1970s and earlier, prisoners were able to receive Social Security benefits. However, nowadays, people convicted of a crime and doing time in prison in general can not receive Social Security benefits.

Excerpt :

Or to be more precise, benefits are suspended if someone is convicted of a criminal offense and sent to jail or prison for more than 30 continuous days. Notice that conviction is the key. Lots of people end up in jails while they are awaiting trial or pleas. But until there is a conviction with prison time involved, benefits will continue.



Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration