Seasonal Work While Getting Social Security

December 12, 2019 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: July 16, 2021

" "Many people pick up side jobs when the holiday shopping season comes around. It’s a good way for you to make some extra income during the busy season or ease back into working if you have been out of the labor force for a while. We’re here to help you navigate working seasonally if you get Social Security.

You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. But if you’re younger than full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced, although not dollar for dollar. Your benefits may increase when you reach full retirement age. You can read more about working while retired.

If you receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), special rules also make it possible for people to work and still receive monthly payments. If you want to try working again, seasonal work may help you ease back into the work force. Read our publication, Working While Disabled: How We Can Help, or visit our Ticket to Work website for more information.

We also have an easy-to-share video introducing people to Ticket to Work.

Keep in mind that you must report all earnings, including your seasonal earnings, to Social Security. Your earnings also count toward your future benefits. You earn Social Security credits when you work in a job and pay Social Security taxes. We use your total yearly earnings to figure your Social Security credits. You can learn more by reading our publication, How You Earn Credits.

Having a job can bring positive change to your life in a number of ways, providing independence, fulfillment, and community involvement. Social Security is here to help. Please share this information with friends and family.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. camille v.

    i am retired and have been working for 7 yrs 20 hrs a wk at shoprite. I get maybe $20 extra a year from ss. I am 73 and enjoy my coworkers and it gives me something to do and keeps my mind busy. the work is not easy but its something I do well.

    • cricket b.

      at your age do you have to claim your ss on your taxs every year. i do and it brings my income tax return down to hardly nothing.i thought at our age we could work as long as we wanted and it wouldnt affect our returns

  2. Tom

    Except the 1 for 2 doesn’t seem to apply until an audit is requested.

  3. Peggy D.

    I am currently drawing my SS and work. How come I never get more SS then I do?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Peggy. Thanks for your question. Each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. We pay the increase retroactive to January the year after you earned the money. Visit our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working for more information. We hope this helps.

  4. Cheryl P.

    I have tried to get into my account with SSA but twice now I have been told they would send me in the mail the way to reset my password. I have not received a letter yet. This was two months ago when I first questioned it. How do I reset my password, thank you

    • BW

      You can call the 1800 number and they can reset it over the phone, but you still may have to answer the ID questions that lock you out. If you have a problem with the ID questions you need to call Equifax 800.685.1111 because they are in charge of the ID questions.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Cheryl. We are sorry to hear about your experience. To retrieve or change your account username or password, go here. If you still need assistance call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “help desk.” We hope this helps.

  5. Steven

    What about temporary Census work in 2020? Will that impact social security eligibility for those receiving federal income.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Steven. Thanks for your question. If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, this can reduce the number of payments you receive through the year. For 2020 that limit is $18,240. If you applied and received benefits prior to attainment of full retirement age, and work part-time thereafter you will be considered “retired” only if your monthly earnings are $1,520 or less. Also, if your earnings will be over the limit for the year but you will be retired for part of the year, we have a special rule that applies to earnings for one year. If you work and are full retirement age or older, you may keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn, starting with the month you reach your full retirement age. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working for more information. If you have specific questions about your situation, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak with one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. We hope this helps.

  6. Richard D.

    I am 81 yrs old and have been working the last 7 years in the summer only. Would that affect an increase in my SS

    • John J.

      No, only SSI

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Richard. Thanks for your question. Each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. Generally, we will send a letter explaining any increase in your benefit amount. Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or contact your local office directly for further assistance.

  7. Ola M.

    I don’t understand how you can work all of your adult life and social security is being withdrawn the entire time that you work. The maximum you can get is about 1,400, you then get a job where they continue to take social security out and they can and will reduce your pay. It makes a person just want to sit down and do nothing and let the system pay for everything.

    • Jayne M.

      Most people who made above minimum wage are drawing much more then 1400.00 a month. My husband is suppose to draw 1795.00 at retirement age which is next year. If you are disabled or retired and NOT drawing Ssi then you can work and earn over 1k a month with losing your benefits. So NO reason to sit down on the government because they do allow people to continue to work and make money if they stay below a certain amount.

    • Ray

      It sounds like you are looking to retire at 62 in which case you’re benefits are substantially less than if you wait to full retirement age of 66, and also less than if you wait until 70 to claim. If you can, do NOT claim before you are 66.

  8. Lesly F.

    I am an fanancial hardship.!!!

  9. Reiko M.

    I am a retired person looking for a seasonal work.

  10. Doreen K.

    Our we getting a one time payment of 200 dollars next year

Comments are closed.