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

830. Homeworkers

830.1 Are homeworkers employees?

You are considered an employee if you:

  1. Meet the requirements in §826;

  2. Work away from the employer's place of business;

  3. Work according to your employer's guidelines;

  4. Work on material or goods provided by your employer; and

  5. Return the finished product to your employer or to someone whom your employer designates.

830.2 What type of worker is considered a "homeworker"?

Homeworkers include people who make quilts, buttons, globes, bedspreads, clothing, needlecraft products, etc. Homeworkers usually work in their own homes or in a workshop away from their employer's business. The type of work homeworkers do is usually simple and consists of following patterns or samples provided by the employer.

830.3 How is compensation computed for Social Security purposes?

If you receive wages less than $100 in a calendar year (the cash-pay test) from your employer, your pay is not counted for Social Security purposes. However, all of your pay is counted in applying the earnings test to a beneficiary, even if you do not meet the cash-pay test. If you do meet the cash-pay test, all of your pay is counted for benefits and the earnings test. (See §1303.)

Last Revised: March, 2001




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