Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Can You Get Disability Benefits If You Were Self-Employed and had Self-employment Earnings?

You can get disability benefits if you are self employed or you are employed by an employer. While most people have their Social Security taxes withheld from their paychecks by their employers, self-employed people pay their Social Security taxes quarterly through estimated taxes, or annually through their income tax return.

It does not matter how you pay your Social Security taxes as far as the social security administration is concerned (though the IRS can impose penalties if you do not pay taxes quarterly) it just matters that you pay them.

Many self employed people have a hard time getting Social Security benefits because they declare no profit in their businesses; thus, they pay no Social Security taxes. If you do not pay any taxes, you cannot get Social Security disability benefits. It is advisable to declare some profit and pay taxes rather than offset all of your self-employment earnings with expenses.

Unfortunately, those who actually make no profit find themselves in the same predicament with Social Security.

Self employed individuals can earn one work credit per quarter provided their net self employment is equal to, or more than, the amount set by Social Security for a quarter of coverage.

Usually, the amounted needed to earn a quarter of coverage changes each year. You can earn a maximum of four quarters of coverage per year. If you earn enough work credits or quarters of coverage you can get Social Security disability. Remember, earning your quarterly work credits insures you for Social Security disability. But the amount of your disability benefits depends upon how much money you declare as profit.

As a self-employed person, your net self-employment earnings are reported to your Social Security earnings record rather than your gross earnings. Higher net self-employment earnings generally result in higher monthly Social Security disability benefits.

What if you have not earned enough quarters of coverage or work credits through your self-employment to be covered or insured by Social Security disability? If you are not insured for Social Security disability, you may still qualify for SSI, or Supplemental Security Income disability.

The SSI disability program is a need based disability program that is not dependeant upon your earnings record. It does, however, require you to meet income and resource limits like other need-based social programs.

Related: SSDI and self-employment earnings from a business.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Can I Get Disability If I Was Paid Under the Table?
What Determines If You Are Covered for SSDI (Social Security Disability) Benefits - The DLI Issue
Insured Status is What Makes SSDI and SSI Different From Each Other
What Is The Difference between SSD and SSI?
The Difference Between Social Security Disability and SSI Really Involves Work Activity
Am I Eligible to get Benefits (SSDI, Medicare) if I worked overseas and get a disability pension from another country?
Can You Get Disability Benefits If You Were Self-Employed and had Self-employment Earnings?
SSDI and self-employment earnings from a business
Does Social Security take into consideration gross earnings or net earnings?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria