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The Common-Law Test

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

802. The Common-Law Test

802.1 What is the common-law test?

Under the common-law test, the person you work for has the right to tell you what to do, how, when, and where to do your job. There are several factors, or elements, which indicate such control over the details of your work. These are discussed in §§804-823.

802.2 What if my relationship to my employer meets the common law test?

You are considered an employee if your relationship with your employer meets the common-law test. Even if your employer does not give you orders on what to do, how when, and where to do your job, he or she only needs the right to do so for you to be considered an employee.

Last Revised: March, 2001

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