Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

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    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

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    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

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    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

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    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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?
    South Carolina Social Security Disability back pay
    Will I get approved for disability in South Carolina?

    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