The social security disability is a federally administered insurance program that pays you cash benefits if you have a disability that makes you unemployable or unable to do sufficient work to gain income within the substantial gainful activity (SGA) edge. This means that if you have worked for a sufficient amount of time (40 quarterly financial working months calculated by the SSA) and have paid the social security taxes on your wages, you are eligible to apply for your SSDI claims. The SSA calculates taxes through either Federal Insurance Contributions Act, FICA or Self-Employed Contributions Act, SECA. Freelancers are often required to pay taxes under SECA with these few exceptions:
- Your income is less than $400 through freelancing or self employed work;
- You are under 22 years of age;
- Your total income is less than $1180
Owning a freelance business or earning through other self employed services like carpenter, book keeper, gardener, making or giving contracts for buildings or consulting work, landlording, farming and freelancing will all be subject to taxes provided that your income through these services is less than $1180 a month. However, your benefits would NOT be affected by the fact that you run a business, big or small, or earn through freelancing etc.
The SSA would either use the 'countable income test' or the 'three tests' to measure your eligibility for social security disability.
You can learn more about how the SSA would determine your SSDI eligibility if you are self employed.
For more personalized advice for your specific case, you can talk directly to our social security disability attorneys.