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.

Did you find this Information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
See Comments

About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. Carolyn B.

    I am drawing social security and I am younger than retirement age. Can I work as a covid vaccine nurse without affecting my social security? It will only last 4-6 months.

    • Vonda

      Hi Carolyn, thanks for using our blog. You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. However, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full benefits. The amount you’re allowed to earn while receiving benefits depends on your age. If you attain full retirement age in 2021, the earnings limit is $50,520 but we only count earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you’re under full retirement age for the entire year, then we deduct $1 from benefit payments for every $2 earned above the annual limit. For 2021, that limit is $18,960.

      Visit our Receiving Benefits While Working web page for more details.

      • Brenda M.

        I am under full retirement age and have a new position giving Covid vaccines. Can I suspend my Social Security benefits during the time that I have this employment?

        • Vonda

          Hi Brenda, thanks for using our blog. If you anticipate your earnings to exceed $18,960, you should call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

          Visit our Receiving Benefits While Working web page for more details.

  2. Lucas

    When you use your personal vehicle for office purpose it’s better to have commercial insurance than a personal common vehicle insurance

  3. Chelsi V.

    Thanks for sharing your article with us.This is really a nice post.

  4. David

    Will working temporarily for the 2020 Census affect my Social Security Benefits?

    • David H.

      Never mind, after I posted this, more comments came up about the same subject of working for the Census Bureau while receiving SS benefits. i was recruited as an enumerator for the 2020 Census at a Section 8 housing meeting in Feb, 2020. I was told that it wouldn’t affect my benefits. I saw an opportunity to earn some extra money to help pay for a down-payment and closing costs for a home loan when I found out it was possible to purchase a home through the Section 8 Home buying Program, at the same meeting. I got the job which eventually started in late July. I was told that the pay was about $15/hr and that the training was probably less. Turns out that it is $18/hr training and regular pay, and I only found out when I received the first payment invoice in the mail. I think I have earned about $200 or so, over the limit of $1260/month. Does this mean I will lose my entire disability payment for a month? If so, is it the month after? I really wish that the Census Bureau had mentioned to folks about working for the 2020 Census while on disability and how it would affect their benefits since they seek-out people who are low-income, disabled, etc. I know it’s my fault for not checking into it more. Now I’m not sure if I should try working the last few weeks of the Census or what the consequences will be. Thanks

    • Vonda V.

      Hi David, thank you for your question. The answer to your question depends on the type of Social Security benefit you’re receiving.
      If you’re receiving Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and you’re younger than your full retirement age, and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced. Check out our publication How Work Affects Your Benefits for the details.

      If you’re receiving Social Security disability benefits, check out our publication Working While Disabled: How We Can Help for the details We hope this information is helpful.

      • David H.

        Thank you, Vonda. It is SS disability. Is the amount that is counted gross or net? Is it the same if the job is temporary and will end? Thanks

  5. Aqiqah K.

    Thankyou for sharing
    Aqiqah Karawang

  6. Rita F.

    Why can people on TANIF and SNAP work for the CENSUS and still receive their full grant however people on SSD that want to try again after they have exhausted all of the Ticket To Work time not have the opportunity to see this civil service job through. This would have ended had it not been for the PANDEMIC but because we try to push through and do our best for our country and community we are penalized. I am in a spot to possibly have to pay back nearly $10,000 because I am doing my civil responsibility.

    • David H.

      Wow! I was recruited by a 2020 Census recruiter at a Section 8 Housing meeting In Feb, 2020 and told that being an enumerator wouldn’t affect my benefits. I thought they meant all benefits, so I applied, and was hired. I was told that the pay was about $15 per hour after training (which would be less). It turns out that the pay is higher, $18 per hour, which I only found out about when I received the first pay invoice in the mail, and that the pay for training was the same,$18 per hour. So now I’ve worked for a little over a month (end of July through August) and have gone over the $1260 by around $200. Does this mean I will lose my entire SSD benefit check for a month? If so, is it the month after? I really wish the Census Bureau would have mentioned this since they seek-out low-income folks who are receiving various benefits due to desirability, etc. I guess it’s my fault for not checking sooner about the SSA rules for amounts you can earn. I was just trying to make a little extra money to help me put a down payment and pay closing costs for a home loan through Section 8, so I could possibly have a chance to actually live in a home and not
      always rent from a landlord, while helping my country. I don’t know if I should even try to keep working for the next few weeks, because I don’t know what the consequences are going to be.

  7. Denisha J.

    I have a question I live in Pennsylvania and I receive SSDI. what is the limit as far with hours and how much I can receive.

  8. Cynthia G.

    I am applying for US Census work. Is there a limit on how much money I can make with ssdi
    Thank you

  9. Barbara G.

    A disequilibrium regarding timely authorization on relief resources both healthcare and allocation of appropriate cashflow for exclusive and potential recipients whose age is below 60. The reality of the eworld is that in 1935, American government system and it social subsystem discovered that not all people are indigenous. This is how the content within social reform devised chronological monthly payments and medical coverage to USA tax payers–in case of an unforseen health disease or injury on the job.. The 1965 Social Security Administration ratified the social financial benefit laws to include this specific population. Medicare the 80% coverage linked with the CMS 1500 billing requisition [ Medicaid ] is expected to financially cover the CPT4 and ICS10 , thus not limited to a measured out income monthly to perserve the needs of the applicants household. The problem is waiting time that propels poverty until authorization for compensation and medical coverage. I understand that the COVID19 pandemic is a moving abacus. But, the promise to the constituents who are stuck in the file with no authorization to live effectively is not in the light of green to move ahead. How, is it possible to place a barrier between a prior tax payers social civil rights and enforce other rights ? Is there a new plan being implemented, and will a commitment to abolish this sort of suffrage among unforseen disabilities with the prior tax peyor population continue to be obliterated?
    P.S. I thank you for bestowing such great concern on disability advocacy

    Barbara Guster BPS,CMA Advocate

    To Top Level SSA Members,

  10. Cheryl L.

    i want to go to work temp for the US Census Bureau. It is supposed to be 6-8 weeks. will this affect my SSD.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Cheryl, thank you for your question. Social Security has special rules that make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive monthly payments. These are called work incentives.

      For SSDI beneficiaries, there is a Trial Work Period (TWP) and then an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months. During this period, you will receive your full disability benefit regardless of how much you earn as long as your work activity is reported and you continue to have a disabling impairment. In 2020, any month in which earnings exceed $910 is considered a month of the 9-month trial work period.

      Once you’ve completed your TWP, you get a 36-month safety net called the EPE. During the EPE, you get benefits for all months your earnings or work activities are below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level as long as you continue to have a disabling impairment. Social Security will suspend cash benefits for months earnings are over SGA and start benefits again if earnings fall below the SGA level. In 2020, you are earning SGA if your earnings, after any allowable deductions, are more than $1,260 in a month.

      Check out Social Security’s Red Book for descriptions of the many work incentives.

Comments are closed.