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What is considered earned income versus unearned income according to Social Security?




 
I’m a 41 year old veteran, I receive Social Security Disability, and since I have major troubles working for others at several different jobs outside the home. I wanted to spend a 2-3 hours per week "daytrading/short-term trading" stocks in my brokerage account where I could have some capital gains/investment gains to assist paying the utility bills. Say my net gains per year could be $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000+ trading stocks for myself from home. Could these trading gains (profit-minus expenses) count as "earned income" or are the gains "unearned income"?

I read online that capital gains and investments are not considered as earned income for those who receive social security disability. “Social Security excludes government benefits and investments as earned income. Interest, capital gains, pensions and annuities do not count as earned income.

One tax attorney told me: "Here is the general rule, passive income is not counted as earned income. Investment income is generally considered as passive". I think it most likely that day trading for yourself, and yourself only, would not be counted as earned" income for social security disability insurance benefits purposes. I can call and pay you a $35 consult fee on my debit card if you can email me the answers to my questions.




There's no charge, of course.

The answer to your question is simple. Unearned income through stock investment does not count as earned income against your Social Security disability. If you are receiving SSI or Supplemental Security Income disability, your unearned income may affect your eligibility to the program because it is based on need rather than insured status like Social Security disability.

If you are receiving Social Security disability only, your monthly benefits will not be affected by your capital gains from stock investments.








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    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
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    Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
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    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria