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. Yugank K.

  2. Russ C.

    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.

    • Ray F.

      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!

  3. Debora

    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?

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question, Debora. Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance. You can apply for your benefits online at any time now. Please visit our Social Security Retirement Planner for more information.

  4. Ann



    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,

  6. Douglas T.

    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.

  7. Bernardo V.

    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.

  8. vernon

    worked last year and year before not one penny has been added to my benefit and I am above full retirement age

    • Ray F.

      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.

  9. Jennifer C.

    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.

  10. Teresa


    Isn’t number 2 backward? SSI is reduced and you get to keep your benefits with SSDI during the trial work period.

    • Ray F.

      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.

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