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Delivering or Distributing Newspapers

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

929. Delivering or Distributing Newspapers

929.1 What are "newspapers" and "shopping news"?

"Newspapers or shopping news" includes news publications, shopping guides, handbills, and other types of advertising material.

929.2 What does "delivery" or "distribution" mean?

"Delivery or distribution" means retail sale, house-to-house delivery, or the passing out of handbills on the street.

929.3 Are services performed by newspaper deliverers covered by Social Security?

Effective January 1, 1996, your services are not covered by Social Security if you deliver or distribute newspapers or shopping news. You are considered a direct seller and your payment constitutes earnings from self-employment. See §1135.2 for further information on the treatment of these earnings as self-employment income. This exclusion does not apply to the delivery or distribution of magazines.

929.4 When was newspaper delivery services excluded from Social Security coverage prior to 1996?

Prior to January 1, 1996, newspaper delivery services were excluded from Social Security coverage if:

  1. The work was performed as an employee and the person was under age 18; and

  2. The material was delivered or distributed to the ultimate consumer and not to a point from which later distribution or delivery was made.

This exclusion does not apply to the delivery or distribution of magazines.

Last Revised: Jun. 30, 2004

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