If you’re self-employed, the idea of claiming disability benefits at all may seem foreign to you, but we assure you it’s certainly not impossible. You simply have to consider a few important things first.
Are You Legally Considered Self-Employed?
Before you can begin the process of claiming disability benefits as a self-employed individual, you first have to make sure you are actually considered self-employed by the Social Security Administration’s standards. In order for that to happen, you must “operate a trade, business, or profession, either by yourself or as a partner,” and have correctly reported and paid taxes on all your income, meaning 12.4% for Social Security, and another 2.9% for Medicare so long as you make over $400 (if you make more than $200,000 you owe 3.8% for Medicare). Once you’ve done all this, you can move onto the next step.
Have You Earned Enough “Social Security Credits?”
Your next step is to determine how many “Social Security credits” you have to find out if you have enough to qualify for aid. These are earned passively every year just be obtaining income. Anyone who in employed in any capacity can earn up to four credits per year so long as they at least earn the minimum monthly amount determined for the year ($1260 for 2020). This is what is considered “substantial gainful activity.” In most cases, to take advantage of disability benefits you have to have earned at least 40 credits, though considerations can be made for special cases involving those who become disabled at a young age.
Are You “Unable To Engage In Substantial Gainful Activity?”
Being “unable to engage in substantial gainful activity” essentially means you are unable to make the minimum $1260 per month required to continue obtaining credits because of a debilitating condition. Only individuals who are deemed unable to engage in SGA can be considered for disability benefits.
Are You Ready To Start A Claim?
The process for starting a disability benefits claim when you’re self employed is actually very similar to being traditionally employed. You will have to fill out a formal application, provide expository medical evidence detailing your disability or condition, and sign a few release forms so the SSA can look into your history. The only difference is that as a self-employed individual, you will need to submit your previous tax records.
Want some help getting everything together? Our Social Security disability attorneys at Aiello Law Group would be happy to help your file your claim at no upfront cost. Simply reach out anytime and our team’s more than 140 years of combined experience can be all yours! Call us, today, at 313.964.4900 or fill out the form in the sidebar or on our contact page, and learn more about how we can help you.