General, SSI

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

December 4, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 3, 2023

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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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Memosa O.

    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.
    Thank you

  2. Mary L.

    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.

  3. Mary Z.

    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?

    • Ray F.

      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!

  4. Donna B.

    How much can I make and not have my monthly benefits reduced?

    • Ray F.

      Good question Donna. If you are under full retirement age the earnings limit for 2017 is $16,920/yr (2018 amount is: $17,040/yr). To learn more, visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page or read our publication: “How Work Affects Your Benefits”. Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  5. Louise A.

    How can I make sure every place I worked was picked on on my earnings report years ago?

  6. Christine d.

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

  7. Lesly F.

    Hi mr Jim i ask you a question you didn’t answer why.

  8. Tom L.

    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?

  9. Reginald

    What happens when you work a temporary job for the hurricane in Texas. I had wages for 1 month.

  10. Lesly F.

    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…!

    • Ray F.

      Hi Lesly. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. See our Benefits Planner: “Social Security Credits” web page for more information. Thanks.

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