Three Things You Need to Know about Seasonal Work and Social Security

woman shopping Right after Halloween, stores and businesses begin advertising that they’re looking for seasonal workers. It’s a good way to make extra income during the busy holiday season. We know you may have some questions about seasonal work and how it affects your work record. Social Security is here to answer your top three questions about seasonal work.

  1. Do I earn credits toward future Social Security benefits if I get a job during the holidays?

Yes, your seasonal earnings 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.

  1. I get Social Security benefits. Will seasonal work affect my benefits?

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. Your benefits will increase when you reach full retirement age.

If you receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), special rules 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. If you’re ready to work again, or would like to try this holiday season, read Working While Disabled.

  1. How do I make sure my seasonal wages are posted correctly?

Your personal my Social Security account is the easiest and most efficient way to verify your earnings. If you don’t have an account, create one today. Your personal my Social Security account puts you in the driver’s seat of your personal record. You can view your Social Security Statement, request a replacement card, report your wages if you’re getting disability, and  more!

Remember that Social Security is here to help you secure today and tomorrow. You can find the answer to most of your questions by visiting our website.

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69 thoughts on “Three Things You Need to Know about Seasonal Work and Social Security

  1. this is a compliment about an employee in our local social security office 80027 Louisville CO.

    it is not about an interviewer, but for the guard who works there.

    the office was recentliy moved from boulder to louisville. the website does not even acknowledge this. we needed to go there + when we did, we got valuable info and help from the guard on duty.

    he should be commended.
    thank you. a reply to see if this was received and any follow up would be appreciated.

    • Thank you, Roger! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We will be sure to pass along your note as it helps us know we have made a difference to those we serve every day. Thanks again!

    • Thanks but the guards are usually private contractors and not employed by Social Security. The PA Specialist should be concerned about the website not being updated.

      • Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal, and that we have an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

      • NOTE: Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal, and that we have an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

  2. If your full retirement age is 66 and you start collecting benefits, can you still earn money without loosing part of your ss benefit?? If you can, how much, or is there any limit to the amount you can earn??

    • 1170 and 1180 are not earnings limits for social security. If you get SSI you must report all work activity. SSI is based upon need like other welfare payments. Being deaf is a moot point.

    • Hi Martha. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program if they work. However, their earnings cannot exceed a certain amount. This is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit.
      In 2017, the SGA limit is $1,170 per month (or $1,950 for blind disabled individuals).
      In 2018, the SGA limit is $1,180 per month (or $1,970 for blind disabled individuals).
      In addition to the amount of money you make, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work.
      If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you are required to promptly report any work activity.
      Please visit our Disability Planner: “If You Go Back To Work” for more information. Thanks!

    • Hi Thomas! Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. 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 any of the years that were used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. If an increase is due, a new monthly benefit amount is established on your record automatically. We hope this information helps!

  3. There are more than 3 thoughts when being employed seasonally whether or not you receive benefits. One that is often overlooked is: If you earn enough in 2 or 3 months you may receive 4 quarters of credit as if you had worked all year. The best thing to know is if you do have questions call SS toll free # 1-800-7721213 or call your local office. Asking specific questions on this blog is not appropriate.

    • Just a reminder – For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. We respond to questions and provide general information on our programs and services. If you have a general question, we encourage you to ask here. But remember, never post personal information on social media. You can also create a personal “my Social Security account” to review your earnings record and get estimates of your future benefits. Thanks!

  4. I am 63 and 9 month i can’t get retirement because i have 25 credit i need 15 more credit how can get 15 more credit to get 40 credit i am suffering with depression,high blood pressure and diabetes.please answer for me mr..!

  5. Hi jim i am 63 years old and 9 month i have 25 credit i need 15 credit more how i am going to work to make 15 credit to get 40 credit because i am suffering with depression high blood pressure and diabetes.ECT i put my claim is denied 6 time.please give me response thanks…!

  6. Part-time Employment also has a rehabilitation benefits, by keeping as functional as possible.
    Can / could this be prescribed or recommend by a physician?
    Is Substitute Teaching also considered as “seasonal” ? You never know when or how long it will last.
    I just turned 60, I was retired because of a “service connected disibility”.
    Does this also apply to any other type on activities or “functions” on-line making money with / without social security or other taxes?
    With all / any other age I will always be disabled and dependent on wheelchair … physical condition changes frequently up/down.
    It seems the issue is if the income was taxed.
    Any advice?

  7. Hello I’m working seasonal work will end Dec.22 2017 will that Hurt my Social Security. I have work 3 weeks

  8. I have a question. I currently receive SS benefits. I just turned 70 this year. I have had a small part time job for the past two years that deducts OASDI and FICA Med from my earnings. Where is that money going? Can it be used to increase my current SS payment amount?

    • Hi Mary. Under current law, everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. As long as you continue to work, even if you are receiving benefits, you will continue to pay Social Security taxes on your earnings. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If there is an increase, we will send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount. Thanks!

  9. IRMAA (income-related monthly adjustment amount) wasn’t mentioned but it could be a possibility the extra income could result in a higher standard medicare premium and a higher deduction for Medicare Part D.

  10. I am retiring in four years, but I filed social security due to some personal financial needs due to illness so I thought this will help pay some of it; but the process didn’t meet my need. Then I attented a Retirment Seminar Class because I am turning 65 in Feb, I learned that I can draw my SSI under my Spouse (even if we’re separated) for he is turning 62 three months after i turn 65. I filed SSI benefit and they said I will receive my 1st Check for December in January, even if I am still working.
    How can I withdraw from my 1st Application, without SSA sending the check on January; what form do I need to fill out to reapply for May 2018?
    Thank you.
    MCO’dell
    gishwind3@gmail.com
    memosa.odell@gmail.com
    Thank you

    • Hi Teresa. The trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months (not necessarily consecutive). During your trial work period, you’ll receive your full Social Security benefits regardless of how much you’re earning as long as you report your work, and you continue to have a disability.
      In the other hand, we base your SSI payments on how much other income you have. When your other income goes up, your SSI payments usually go down. So when your total income exceeds the SSI limit, your payments will stop for those months. Read our publication: Working While Disabled for more information.

  11. I get SSD, but can barely pay bills with it. Can I work a “light-duty”, part time job without losing my benefits? It took almost 2 years to get approved & I didn’t receive any back-pay as promised by the lawyer. I don’t want to lose the tiny benefits I waited so long for if I get a p/t job. My doctors basically forced me to quit working because of my health problems & I always worked a full time job.

    • Hi Vernon. 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 any of the years that was used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. If an increase is due, a new monthly benefit amount is established on your record automatically. We will send you a letter telling you of your new benefit amount. Thanks.

  12. I am fully retired and working pat time for 2 + years. So far I have received any financial benefit from the Social Security Administration, but I AM PAYING MORE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TAXES.

  13. I’m in the Philippines now my social security did not show up on my due date second Wednesday my bank says it was not transmitted to them what can I do to rectify this matter. My phone service will not take 800 calls.

  14. This website leaves much to be desired! I should be able to find out how much was required to earn “a quarter of coverage in 2017” but my search turned up nothing! I have also clicked on numerous headings, only to find long, chatty articles that don’t tell me anything. As a retired Technical Expert with SSA, I am very disappointed that this website is not more user-friendly. There should be a Fact Sheet that I can pull up to see the annual limits, etc,

  15. I will be reaching age 70 in April and have not applied for benefits under my own account. I have been receiving spousal benefits because I filed a restricted application. How soon should I file for my benefits so that I receive benefits in April?

  16. I registered for early SS benefits on Dec. 13, 2017. My helper Peter said I would receive my first payment on Jan. 3, 2018. I have not received any payments. I have questions about working so I started calling the Payment center on Dec. 13,2017 i have not had a return call from them.

    • Thank you for contacting us Russ. Remember that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of January, you will receive your first benefit payment in February. Please contact the office that processed your application to follow up on your claim. Or you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Our Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working will provide the information you need in regards to working while receiving your Social Security retirement benefits. We hope this helps!

  17. In previous replies,you said there a limit one can make a month if they’re under retirement age. BUT, does THAT LIMIT INCLUDE the amount I’m earning with social security, or is that limit JUST on an outside job one holds and is paid for? Also PLEASE, when you state figures for people that Are under retirement age,state the figures for people that ARE OVER the retirement age. If I’m not wrong,there is a HUGH difference in the two age brackets. The limit should be much higher for one that’s hit their retirement age.

  18. I will be 65 in march. Can I start collecting my ss now instead of waiting till full retirement at 66? I plan on working until then. I know it will be less but i

  19. I will be 65 in march, and I plan on working until full retirement at 66, or longer.
    Can I start receiving my sis in march? I know it will be a less amount but I need it now.
    Thank you for your service.

  20. Hi
    Not sure where to ask, but I cant find answer anywhere and I dont want to clog the phone lines with this question.

    Notification came saying a deposit was going to be available March 26th, it is the smaller (state) amount.
    *why did that come so early?
    *And why didnt the larger amount be deposited?
    Im aware of the holiday, but the holiday falls on Good Friday and or Easter on Monday.
    *Was there a specific reason for only the smaller amount and not both?

  21. If I continue to work after age 70 and I am collecting retirement benefits will my pay payments increase?

    For example if I am 71 and work for the full calander year and my Income exceeds the max fica limit, will my benefit increase.

    If it dose not do I still have to pay fica?

    Thanks

  22. I have not worked in over 10 years, I receive SSI with a total being $750.00 monthly, nut they deduct $250.00, I have tried to get Disability as I have all of the criteria to be allowed to receive the Disability, I have tried myself to do it on my own and was denied, I need to work a seasonal job, that I can do with my disability, but I truly cannot afford to lose my benefits, I started training last week, and its been on an a temporary training period, What is the total amount that I can work , the pay is $10,00 per hour and I am working part time. How many hours (providing I can do the job) may I be allowed to work?

  23. I am trying to find out how much a person 77 years of age can earn while receiving social security benefits. Nothing I have come across gives me the information I need. I have had different people tell me different things, but most of them tell me you can earn any amount. Others tell me I can only earn $17,000.00 a year. I would appreciate information on this.

  24. How much can a disability person make a month without it messing up my disability check.? Every time I call in or go in to the office its a different answer.

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